Unless they are relying on a judge’s decision, Louisiana parents will need to create a parenting schedule as part of the divorce process. This schedule will specify which parent the child spends time with at what times. By working on it cooperatively, parents can demonstrate to their children that family matters are paramount.

Parents should take a number of factors into account while creating the schedule. Children’s extracurricular activities, how they will get to school and even the preferences of older children may all affect what the final parenting schedule looks like. Parents can expect to be inconvenienced sometimes by the schedule since the needs of the children should come first. There may be additional considerations for children with special needs.

It’s important to remember that the parenting schedule shouldn’t be approached as an opportunity for revenge. This not a chance for one parent to “win.” Parents, particularly those who have done more caregiving, should also set aside the idea that the other parent cannot be equally competent. Parents should also avoid making a schedule around an event that may never come to pass, such as one parent moving. Once the schedule is complete, it can be tested for a few weeks and tweaked if necessary.

Divorce can be difficult, and negotiations involving the children can be the most challenging. However, if exes can set aside their differences when creating the schedule, they might be able to put down a foundation for a healthy co-parenting relationship. Parents may also want to draw up an agreement that addresses any co-parenting concerns they have. For example, they might want to list the rules they hope to keep consistent between households.