Many time parenting calendars are suggested as a way for divorced or separated parents to agree upon a co-parenting strategy that helps alleviate stress. When both parents agree to work the parenting calendar, they can help divorced parents keep track of activities, visitation schedules and the day-to-day routines of their children. When both parties agree to the calendar and stick to it, they can be a wonderful tool in your co-parenting situation. However, that is in an ideal situation and we all know that divorce is hardly an ideal situation for anyone involved. What many divorced or divorcing parents don’t realize is that parenting time calendars can be used to help you maintain or achieve custody of your children.
How to use Parenting Calendars when preparing for a Custody Battle
As we said above, shared parenting plans laid out on easy to use calendars are an extremely convenient tool for parents when they both agree to use it. However, what about using a parenting time calendar in the time leading up to a divorce, custody hearing or mediation? In this scenario, a parenting calendar can help you actually gain full or primary custody of your children. By documenting all of your interactions, events, time spent with you and the other parent, you’ll be able to enter a custody hearing or mediation with a substantial amount of easy to read data that clearly lays out the actual day-to-day activity of your children and the time that they have spent with each child. This eliminates much of the hearsay involved in custody mediation for all parties involved in creating a shared custody schedule.
For instance, if you have records and reports that support your claim that your children already spend the majority of their non-school, awake time with you, the judge or mediator is more likely to take this in to consideration in the development of a court supported shared parenting schedule, than if you merely tell them that your children spend their time with you and not the other parent. Using a parenting schedule in the time before and leading up to a custody mediation or divorce proceedings is a proactive step that can help you get or maintain primary custody of your child(ren). The main thing to remember when using a parenting calendar to support your claim for custody of your children is that in order for it to be a valuable tool, you need to use it regularly. Documenting all dealing with your ex on a parenting time calendar must become part of your regular routine, which is why whatever tool you choose, it must be accessible from anywhere and easily updatable.
What should you look for in a Parenting Calendar
As we touched on earlier, if you are going to use a parenting calendar to help maintain an already established shared parenting schedule with someone else, or to support your case in custody mediation, you need to make sure that it has the right features and you use it regularly. A good parenting calendar should allow you to track or setup multiple pickup-up/drop-offs, log important events, create detailed reports, and keep important information of your children and the other partner. Ideally, you should be able to store information pertaining to your children’s appointments, doctor’s visits, and school information as well. Ease of use is another important thing to make sure of, too. If the parenting calendar isn’t easy to use, no one will use it. If no one uses it, established shared custody schedules won’t work as well as they’re intended or your case won’t be as strong in mediation.