If you and your ex are going to share custody of your children following a divorce, you need to create a custody schedule that makes it possible. The exact schedule is different for everyone, depending on their specific needs and many unique factors. The goal, however, should be the same in every case: Creating a schedule that puts the children first. 

As you begin talking to your ex about what that schedule should look like, here are five important factors to consider:

  1. Your personal schedules: When do you work, when does your ex work, and when are you both free to watch the children?
  2. The children’s personalities and ages: What type of schedule is going to be easiest for them based on what they enjoy? 
  3. The children’s schedules for extracurricular activities and academic activities: This starts with their basic school schedule, but it also includes things like sports schedules, practices and community events. 
  4. Any other scheduling issues that you have as a family: This is especially important regarding the holidays and could include your extended family. 
  5. The distance between the two homes and the child-care arrangements you’ve made: You have to consider transportation time, whether or not the children will have a babysitter — or go to daycare — and other things of this nature. Create a schedule that actually fits your daily life. 

These are not all of the issues to consider, but they do help to show you how and why each child custody case is unique. Make sure you know exactly what legal options you have and how to create the optimal custody plan. Keep in mind that family law attorneys have a great deal of knowledge about these kinds of situations. They know what usually works — and what doesn’t. Don’t hesitate to rely on them for knowledge.