Your child’s parenting time schedule is one of the most important legal issues you will have to figure out in your divorce. Parenting time is the time your child spends with either you or your spouse. Often, there will be one parent who has primary physical custody of the child. Physical custody refers to a parent’s right to have his or her child live with them. Physical custody can be granted to one or both parents, but typically there is one parent who has primary physical custody. A parent without physical custody may still have parenting time rights, which means they get to spend time with the child according to a schedule.

A parenting time schedule must be included in your parenting plan. This schedule provides your child with structure in their living arrangements and helps make sharing the parenting responsibilities easier for you and the other parent. A common parenting time schedule involves a parent with primary physical custody, with whom the child lives with the majority of the time. The parent without primary physical custody may have your child on the weekends, every other weekend, or on certain school breaks. You may not need very much structure in your parenting time schedule if you and your spouse can agree and are able to communicate effectively. You and your spouse may be able to arrange for reasonable parenting time without a set schedule. Consult with an experienced divorce mediator about your case if you and your spouse are trying to create a parenting time schedule. A mediator can help you create a schedule that suits your needs and is beneficial to your child.

Your child’s parenting time is very important. Keep your child’s best interests in mind when drafting a parenting time schedule. Developing a schedule that works for both of your families can be difficult, even more so if you do not live close or your child has a busy schedule. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important components of divorce because it will shape your child’s life. An appropriate schedule can minimize the disruption to your child’s life as they move between houses. It is important for a child to feel comfortable and safe in both their residential environments to help them better cope with the changes.

Are you going through a divorce and have questions about parenting time? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Experienced in complex divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you draft a schedule that is in your child’s best interests. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.