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How can you start talking about a parenting plan?

Visitation schedules can be designed in a way that is beneficial to both parents and the child involved. While designing a parenting plan can be complicated at first, there are a few steps that can help you do so with few complications.

To start with, the first thing you and your former spouse need to do is to agree to sit down and talk through a schedule without animosity toward each other. You need to put your child first and be respectful. You should both write down when you are busy with work, the activities your child does and your current schedules.

When you meet, compare your schedules. During times when you are free but your former spouse is not, it makes sense to have custody of your child. For some people, the schedule simply builds itself. For example, if you work Friday, Saturday and Sunday in long, 12- or 14-hour shifts, you might have Monday through Thursday off work. That gives you four days when you can take care of your child. If the other party works Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then you may be able to work out a plan where you send your child to school in the morning before work and the other parent picks them up for the next three days.

Of course, not all people have such a simple schedule to work with, but this is an example of how talking through your schedules could help you come up with a plan. It's a good way to start your discussion, if nothing else.

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