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Getting creative with custody plans

One of the top priorities people have when it comes to making a schedule for sharing custody of a child is to establish strict rules and schedules so that parents and children know what to expect.

However, this idea of having a firm schedule can seem like an impossible luxury for parents who have unpredictable lifestyles due to factors like work or location constraints. In these situations, parents would be wise to consider more creative options for custody.

Who might need a creative custody plan?

If you and/or the other parent of your child are on call or work overnight, double shifts or seasonally, then you might need to get creative with your custody plan. People who work as nurses, emergency responders, truck drivers or police officers are among those who can often benefit from a non-traditional custody schedule.

What might a creative custody plan look like?

A creative custody plan doesn't need to be overly complicated, but it can be more nuanced than traditional plans.

For instance, you might choose to use Tuesdays and Wednesdays as "weekends" if a parent with weekend visitation works on Saturdays and Sundays. You might also opt for shorter, more frequent visitation for a parent whose schedule is unpredictable. It could also be feasible to adjust custody schedules seasonally.

You can read more about other creative options for custody in this article, or you may come up with your own. 

Making a creative plan work

There is no one type of plan that works for everyone, and there is no guarantee that a creative plan will be without challenges. However, to minimize potential problems and make it easier to work with a creative custody plan, parents should be flexible. It is often in a child's best interests to spend meaningful time with each parent; making reasonable adjustments to make that happen can be one of the best things a parent can do. 

Another way to make creative plans work is to discuss them with an attorney. With legal guidance, parents can construct a fair, agreeable plan that preserves their rights and their relationship with their child.

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