When an Unpredictable Schedule Complicates Your Child Custody Case

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Brett Pritchard Law

If you are going through a divorce, your primary concern is naturally your child custody arrangements. If either you or your divorcing spouse’s schedules are unpredictable (or if both your schedules are), it can make things very complicated very quickly. Finding workarounds that work in your unique situation can be difficult, but it is important to hammer out a visitation schedule that works for you and that puts your children first.

Unpredictable Schedules

If you are your children’s primary custodial parent – meaning that your children live primarily with you – you will need to create a visitation schedule with your ex that allows him or her to see the kids on a regular basis. The courts base child custody arrangements on what is in the best interest of the children, and that includes continuing to foster deep relationships with both parents by spending a significant amount of time with both of them.

If your divorcing spouse has an erratic, unpredictable, or revolving schedule (if he or she is on call, for example), it can make pinning down a visitation schedule that works for everyone exceedingly difficult. The court generally uses prescribed visitation templates that include specific pickup and drop-off times, which obviously are not highly effective for divorcing parents with erratic work schedules. Further, the court is often loath to assign open-ended visitation schedules. A visitation schedule that is too loose allows more opportunities to take advantage of its inherent flexibility, and an overly restrictive schedule is nearly impossible to implement effectively.

Hammering out the Details

If either of you – or both of you – have an unpredictable schedule, it is likely in your best interests to hammer out a visitation schedule between the two of you rather than looking to the court to do so for you. The court simply does not have the means to tailor a visitation schedule to fit your evolving needs and does not have a working knowledge of all the complicating factors involved in your situation. There are, however, several different methods by which you and your divorcing spouse can tackle this issue:

  • Because no one knows your schedules better than you do, sitting down and hammering out a visitation schedule between the two of you is obviously your best option – but it may not be feasible.

  • If you and your soon-to-be ex cannot come to terms on your own, your respective attorneys can negotiate on your behalves in an attempt to hammer out a viable schedule.

  • You can take your scheduling dilemma to mediation, where an experienced mediator will attempt to help you (accompanied by your respective family law attorneys) find common ground and a flexible schedule.

Do You Have Visitation Schedule Concerns? Consult with an Attorney Today!

Your children’s visitation schedule with their other parent is a very important component of your divorce. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is committed to working closely with you to create a schedule that works for you and your children. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.


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