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How can you set up a custody schedule? Try these tricks

Deciding on a child custody plan can be very difficult. When you and your spouse lived together, it was easier to take care of your child, because you had a single home as your base. One of you might not have had to work or only needed to work part-time to support the household.

When you get a divorce, everything changes. Instead of having one parent work part-time or stay home to take care of your child, you both may need to go to a full-time job.

How can you decide on a custody schedule that is right for the situation?

The first thing that you should do is sit down together with your schedules and see when you have free time. For example, if mom works from Monday through Thursday and dad works from Wednesday to Sunday, the easiest thing to do is to assign custody to mom on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday and Tuesday can automatically be dad's custody days. For Wednesday and Thursday, both parents will need to see if they can adjust their schedules or find a third party to care for their children while they're working.

Starting with the openings in your schedule is a good way to begin building a custody plan. There can be no argument about where a child goes if one parent cannot be present due to work. It makes sense to send the child to the home of the parent who is available and able to care for them.

Don't forget about your child's activities

The next things to consider are the activities that your child participates in. On the days that you are not sure who can have custody, look at extracurricular activities. For example, if mom works until 5 p.m., then she may want to sign up her child for an extracurricular activity that lasts from the end of the school day until she can pick them up.

These are just a few thoughts on how to arrange a custody plan when you are going through divorce. This is one of the easiest ways to start building a schedule that works with your personal schedule and other responsibilities.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on a custody plan, then it's important that you try to work one out in mediation or arbitration. If you can't, your attorney will need to represent you and your case in a family court, where a judge will determine the schedule.

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