Courts and attorneys often use standard Parenting Time Agreement templates that they use for any and all cases. They do not have to be templates, however, since once size certainly does not fit all.
Every divorce is unique because every family situation is unique, which is why it’s better for a family’s long-term health and well-being to create a custom Parenting Time Agreement that speaks to their needs. This is something we do often.
The Parenting Time Agreements that we build are made specifically for the family, addressing how they function, taking into consideration the unique work parameters of the parents, how they celebrate holidays and special occasions, and other details that are unique to every family.
Most people don’t realize they have options and choices when it comes to Parenting Time! We give families variations and help them make informed choices. We try to get as specific as possible so there is no confusion once the divorce is final and the family starts living according to the Parenting Time Agreement.
To help us build your Parenting Time Agreement, consider the following:
- What hours does each parent work? Are they shift-based? Do they travel a lot? What makes sense for each parent when it comes to time with the children?
- How do you celebrate holidays? Is one holiday more important for one parent and another for the other parent? Can you be flexible with who has the children with them to celebrate at their most special times?
- Are there any non-traditional milestones or special days in the year that will be important for you to spend with your kids?
- How do you feel about having your children with you for your birthday or theirs?
- When you think about having the children with you for a holiday, is it just for the holiday, or for an extended period of time around the holiday?
- How will your schedule or family needs change in the summer compared with the school year?
- What are your emotional needs when it comes to spending time away from your children – or with them? Be honest about how long you can single-parent without a break!
Jordana Wolfson has personal and professional experience with Parenting Time Agreements. She is sensitive to the needs of all sides.
“I find that when people build their Parenting Time arrangement themselves, working together with the help of someone outside the court system, they have ownership over it,” Jordana says. “They’ve created something that feels right, and they usually don’t have to return to the court post-judgment to make changes because it is solid and it works for their family.”
When Parenting Time is not clearly defined, there is room for misunderstandings and conflict. We try to prevent that by articulating all the potential situations that could arise. We can only achieve this when we work collaboratively with both parents, having honest conversations and recognizing the needs of all involved.
A Parenting Time Agreement is the crown jewel of any divorce – it’s what guides your life post-divorce. Let’s work together to create a living situation everyone can be happy with!