One of the important components of your child custody plan is setting up the parenting time schedules. These are what you will follow to find out which parent has the children with them on specific dates. Setting these up will take some work, especially if there are complex considerations like long-distance parenting. Throughout the process, you have to be sure you’re focused on what’s best for the children.
Most parents start with the primary schedule the children will follow. In a situation where both parents live within a reasonable distance of each other, this will probably involve transporting the children back and forth weekly. If there is a long-distance consideration, the terms might be that the child stays with one parent during the school year and the other parent during the summer.
Once you have the basic schedule set, you can work on the special schedules. Think about the major holidays. Will the child spend one Christmas with one parent then the next one with the other parent? Alternating holidays are common in custody schedules, but some parents opt to split the holidays so the child sees both parents on every holiday.
In long-distance cases, it might be possible to allow the child to spend longer school vacations with the parent they spend the summer with. This gives them a chance to have in-person contact during the year. You can also set a plan for virtual visits if the distance is a factor.
Make sure that you get the parenting plan and schedule set in writing. This gives you something to refer to if there are questions about what needs to happen with the children.