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Splitting Weeknight Parenting Time Works Better With Toddlers Than With School-Aged Children


In the context of parenting plans, “temporary” means that the parenting plan will remain in effect until the divorce is finalized, whereas a permanent parenting plan is one issued when the parents’ divorce becomes final.  In theory, the parenting plan will remain the same until the children reach adulthood.  Parents who divorce when their children are infants often choose parenting plans suited to the fact that frequent, in-person interaction, even if it is for short intervals, is the best way to bond with children of this age.  It is fine for babies to go back and forth from one parent’s house to the other’s every 24 hours, or for Dad to have parenting time from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days per week, but arrangements like these are hardly practical for school-aged children.  You can modify a parenting plan if it is in the children’s best interests to modify it and if there has been an unforeseen change in the parents’ situation, such as a parent’s work requiring them to relocate.  A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you persuade the court to modify your parenting plan or to keep it the way it is.

Does Dad’s More Flexible Work Schedule Warrant a Parenting Plan Modification?

Rene and Matthew divorced when their son was a toddler.  According to their parenting plan, the child spent every Monday and Tuesday with Rene and every Thursday with Matthew, but the parents alternated each week as to which one would spend Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the child.  Part of the reason they chose this time sharing schedule is that both parents’ jobs required travel on some weekends.

By the time the child was nine years old, Matthew’s career had advanced to where he had more freedom to choose when to travel for work.  He petitioned the court to increase his parenting time; he reasoned that he had considerable flexibility to work from home, and that it was stressful for the child to change residences in the middle of every week.  Rene argued that there was no evidence that the parenting plan was causing the child undue stress; she also said that Matthew rarely worked from home, so his freedom to work from home was pure speculation.  The court decided to keep the parenting plan as it was, because when the parents had drafted the parenting plan and the court had approved it, all parties had understood that the child would eventually grow older and attend school.  Therefore, it declined to modify the parenting plan.

Let Us Help You Today

The cliché about children growing up fast is true; when your children are babies, it is hard to imagine what their needs will be when they become preteens.  A child custody lawyer can help you if your parenting plan worked well when your children were little, but now needs revision since they are older.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation.



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