When California parents of minor children get a divorce, they may need to work out a schedule for child custody. There are a number of different options they can choose depending on what best suits them and their children.
One of the most common arrangements is for the child to spend alternating weekends with the noncustodial parent. If the parents do not live very far from one another, a weeknight visit for a couple of hours could be added in as well. Alternately, the child could visit the noncustodial parent right after school. The parent might attend the child’s after-school activities or help with homework. This midweek visit could also be turned into an overnight visit.
Children who are spending the weekend with the noncustodial parent do not necessarily have to go back to the custodial parent on Sunday evening. This visit could be extended to Monday, allowing the noncustodial parent to take the child to school. This kind of arrangement can be useful if the custodial parent travels for work or other reasons on weekends. There are a number of other options available as well. For example, some parents do not work a regular Monday to Friday schedule, and this could affect when the child visits. A child’s time with the noncustodial parent could be a few weekdays instead of weekends.
Custody determinations that use mediation may help parents arrive at a solution that works for them and their children. Even if parents are upset about the divorce, mediation may help them set that aside and focus on making a schedule that is in the best interests of the child. Mediation may also help parents start to develop conflict resolution skills they can use when co-parenting. During these negotiations, parents may also want to create an agreement that establishes consistent rules for both their households.