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Parenting Time Mediation

Mediation offers you the opportunity to make decisions about parenting time that will work best for your family, rather than allowing a judge, who does not know your family, make those very important decisions for you.

Mediation also creates a more constructive problem-solving environment when children are involved. Resolving issues constructively is beneficial not just in the present, but also moving ahead as there will be continuing issues to discuss and decisions to be made throughout childhood.

Majority Parent or Shared Parenting

One parent can have physical care of the children a majority of the time, or parents can share physical care. There are a number of different parenting plans that can work. If one parent has more than 92 overnights a year with the children, the parenting arrangement is considered shared and child support is commensurately adjusted. If one parent has less than 92 overnights a year, then the other parent is considered the majority time parent. A court will always use the best interests of the child legal standard when making a decision about any matter involving children.

50/50 Plans

Parents can create any schedule that works for them. A few common 50/50 plans are:

Alternate weeks: Parents rotate parenting time every other week

And

50/50 5-2-2-5 splits. Parents alternate their responsibility throughout the week and weekend

With majority time parenting plans, the majority time parent will usually send the children’s clothing and personal effects with them for parenting time, however with shared parenting arrangements, parents usually maintain duplicate items at each residence. Child support is adjusted for shared parenting to allow for the additional expense of maintaining two household areas for children.

Parenting Time Considerations

There are many factors to consider when fashioning any parenting time plan:

  • Who will pick up and drop off the children and where?
  • Who will pay for transportation costs?
  • Will third parties be permitted to be present during parenting time?
  • How and when will you communicate with the other parent?
  • How will the child communicate with the other parent?
  • What schedule will work best for the child and fit within the parents’ work and other obligations?
  • What provisions for make-up parenting time will be set?
  • How does the number of overnights impact child support?

Education-specific factors include:

  • Which parent will provide necessary information to the school, such as a copy of the any court order or agreement pertaining to the children?
  • What involvement will each parent have in the childrens’ educational and other school activities?
  • Will both parties have direct access to school information?
  • Which parent will enroll the children in extracurricular activities and who will pay?
  • Which parent will provide transportation for extracurricular activities?
  • How will the parties share the cost of education for routine expenses such as class supplies, as well as any tutoring or private schooling

A mediator can assist parents in exploring their parenting principles, visions and expectations, as these are often the foundational principles for parenting plans that work and with which both parents voluntarily comply. Mediation is an excellent alternative to adversarial court proceedings. Consult with a family law attorney mediator to obtain a better understanding of mediation as a family dispute resolution approach.

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