The Our Family Wizard Blog

The Importance of Family


How to Set a Schedule for Dual Custody

How to Set a Schedule for Dual CustodyCreating a dual custody schedule that works and is convenient for all people involved is no easy task. The daily lives of parents and children are busy and stressful. Dual custody can easily make the lives of co-parents more difficult with the added time and effort for scheduling, pick up and drop offs, splitting expenses, and more. Co-parents must spend a good amount of time discussing in order to set a schedule for dual custody that is in the best interest of their children and gives equal time to both co-parents.


Coming to an agreement on a schedule for dual custody

In most cases, when going through a divorce the co-parents are given the option to create their own dual custody parenting plan. This is actually preferred by family court judges because it means that both co-parents have come to an agreement on the shared parenting plan. If no agreement can be reached, your family court judge will determine a parenting plan that is in the best interest of your child.


When setting your first schedule for dual custody it is important to sit down with your co-parent in front of a calendar or date book. Be prepared with all of your work schedules, other obligations, your child’s school and extracurricular information, and other information that would be important to include in the dual custody schedule. You must set a schedule for dual custody based on your family’s situation. There are a lot of decisions to be made, which will determine how effective the dual custody schedule will be. One of the biggest decisions to be made is how the time will be split between co-parents. Co-parents may choose to split time equally throughout the year, split time between the child’s breaks at school, or a number of other ways.


Keep your schedule for dual custody consistent

Keep your schedule consistent. Repeating cycles are a must when you set a schedule for dual custody. Things are easier said than done, the same goes for setting a schedule for dual custody. After implementing your dual custody schedule you may find that it did not turn out exactly as you had planned. Making easy repeating cycles will help you more quickly get into the groove of your dual custody schedule. This will also make the transition much easier on your children. They will be able to adapt more smoothly to your parenting schedule. Implementing repeating cycles when you set a schedule for dual custody will also allow you to make detailed schedules for years and years to come.


Don’t forget about the holidays in your dual custody schedule

After you have set a schedule for dual custody throughout the year it is important to go back and discuss with your co-parent about how the holidays will be split. These days are typically split evenly between co-parents. It is a good idea for co-parents to look at each holiday and decide which ones that they feel are of the most importance, for example they may view Christmas as being a more important holiday than Halloween, etc. Make sure that the holidays are split evenly based on importance as well. In some cases, the co-parents may allow for the holiday itself to be split between the two, meaning that the child will be with one co-parent for a portion of the day, and the other co-parent for the other portion. This approach may not work in all situations so be sure to discuss it with your co-parent early on.


Other special events such as your child’s extracurricular events, sports games, school activities, and others, may also be treated in the same way as holidays. Based on importance they may be split between co-parents.


Setting up a schedule for dual custody may not always be the easiest task, especially if you are not on good terms with your ex. Remember that you must always put the best interest of your children before anything else. Be sure to set up a schedule for dual custody in a professional and mature manner for best results. For more information on how the OurFamilyWizard website® can help you to set a schedule for dual custody please visit the OFW Shared Parenting webpage.