For successful Californians, getting a divorce and dealing with the litany of issues that accompany it can cause dramatic life changes. If they run a business or have a job with a fluctuating schedule, they likely adjusted their family time based on that. When they are divorcing, they not only need to worry about the financial upheaval connected to a high-asset divorce, but they must think about child custody, parenting time and how to have a schedule that suits their situation and is beneficial for the child.
Scheduled visitation vs. reasonable visitation: which would be preferable?
For most couples, there is the choice between scheduled visitation or discussing it between themselves and organizing it as needed. A scheduled visitation plan has its benefits as the sides will know when they will have the child. It states which parent has the child for special occasions, holidays and when the child is on vacation from school.
If one or both parents has a job with unusual hours—a doctor, an attorney or a business owner, for example—then they might not be able to plan so far ahead. This is common with high earners. Considering this is imperative to avoid the need to change the plan and sow discord.
A reasonable schedule does not adhere to a specific plan. The parents craft a plan on their own and adjust it as needed. If a parent owns a store and they need to prepare for the post-Thanksgiving holiday sales, it might not be a good idea to have the child for Thanksgiving or right before end of the year. Parents who have an amicable relationship can negotiate their plan to address these factors.
The relationship between the parents should not be ignored. In contentious cases, they could face obstacles trying to use reasonable visitation protocol. Scheduled visitation will let them know what to expect and to try to stick to it. Of course, the fundamentals must be considered such as the child’s age, health, their relationship with the parents, the parenting skills of both parents, and the child’s basic needs.
When creating a parenting plan, each parent’s situation must be weighed
While many couples can effectively navigate their relationship post-divorce and do what is in the child’s best interests, it does not mean it will always be easy. Creating the parenting plan will hinge on a variety of circumstances. Those who are in the high-asset category and might need a flexible schedule should know the difference between a strict schedule and when they might need to adjust it on the fly. When negotiating or dealing with challenges, it is useful to have professional assistance with these types of cases.