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Parenting Time Schedule Part 2

12 to 24- Months

One- to two-year-olds are becoming more aware of the world around them and the people who are frequently in contact with them. A baby at this age can be attached to many caregivers including grandparents, other extended family members, daycare providers, babysitters and family friends who are frequently in contact with the child.

One- to two-year-olds are also becoming independent and are developing the ability to comfort themselves by thumb sucking or holding onto favorite blankets or toys. Their sleeping and eating schedules are also becoming regular. They continue to respond to the different (but equally valuable) types of parenting mothers and fathers provide. Two-year-olds commonly test parental limits (?terrible twos?) and appropriate parental responses can build the child?s self-esteem for years to come.

Transitions between homes may become difficult for some one- to two-year-olds and they may become upset at these times. Some resistance to exchanges is normal for some children. This behavior does not necessarily mean that the other parent is not a good parent or that the child does not want to be with the other parent. Parents can make exchanges easier for the child by following predictable schedules and by supporting the child?s relationship with the other parent.

 

Plan A(1): Three periods of three to six hours spaced throughout the week.

Comment: frequent contact helps the parent and child bond.

 

Plan A(2): Two six-hour periods spaced throughout each week.

Comment: This plan is helpful when the parents? work schedules or their levels of conflict make more frequent exchanges difficult. Because there are only two visits each week in this plan, bonding between the parent and child may proceed more slowly and the child may experience some difficulty going from one parent to the other.

 

Vacation: Time blocks that vary significantly from the above are not recommended.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan B: Two four-hour periods and one eight-hour period spaced throughout each week.

(See Plan A above for Vacation and Holidays).

 

Plan C: One daytime period of three to six hours and two non-consecutive overnights each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan C overnights have been ongoing, parents may have one period of three consecutive overnights, midweek or weekend, with children 12 to 18 months olds. After the age of 18 months, parents may have two one-week periods separated by at least four weeks. Each parent shall give the other parent thirty days? written notice of his/her vacation plans and an itinerary of travel dates, destination and places where the child or parent can be reached.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

24 to 36 Months

Ages two to three are an important time for children to develop independent skills. Although children this age are learning to be independent, they may still cling to their caregiver and resist separation. They may be negative and say ?NO!? to parents? requests and demands just to express their independence. They may also be fearful about unfamiliar activities and objects. Predictable, regularly scheduled routines help children manage their fears and help them learn that the world is a safe place. Moving between parent?s homes may become difficult for children at this age and they may become upset. This behavior does not necessarily mean that the other parent is not a good parent or that the child does not want to be with the other parent. Parents must ensure that the transitions between the two parents? homes are free of parental arguing and tension.

 

Plan A(1): Two three- to four-hour periods and one eight-hour period spaced throughout each week.

 

Vacation: Time blocks that vary significantly from the above are not recommended.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan A(2): Two periods of three to six hours and one overnight each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming Plan A(2) overnights have been ongoing, parents may have two one-week periods separated by at least four weeks. Each parent shall give the other parent thirty days? written notice of his/her vacation plans and an itinerary of travel dates, destinations and places where the child or parent can be reached.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan B: One period of three to six hours and two non-consecutive overnights each week.

Comment: Ideally a child this age should not be separated on a regular schedule from either parent for longer than three days.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan B overnights have been ongoing, Use Plan A(2) vacation plan above for this age group.

 

Holidays: See Plan A(2) Holidays above for this age group.

 

Plan C: One period of three to six hours and two consecutive overnights each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan C overnights have been ongoing, use Plan A(2) Vacation plan above for this age group.

Parenting Time Schedules Part 1

Parenting time is the scheduled time a non-custodial parent can spend with a child. There are a variety of parenting time schedules that can be set up by a family, and the schedules can be as different as the families who use them.

 

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plan

  • the child?s age, maturity, temperament and strength of attachment to each parent
  • any special needs of the child and parents
  • the child?s relationship with siblings and friends
  • the distance between the two households
  • the flexibility of both parents? work schedules and the child?s schedule to accommodate extended access
  • childcare arrangements
  • transportation needs
  • the ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate
  • the child?s and parents? cultural and religious practices
  • a parent?s willingness to provide adequate supervision, even if the parent has not done so in the past
  • a parent?s ability and willingness to learn basic care-giving skills such as feeding, changing and bathing a young child, preparing a child for daycare or school or taking responsibility for helping a child with homework
  • a parent?s ability to care for the child?s needs
  •  

    Model Parenting Plans for Birth to Age Three from the 2001 Maricopa County Parenting Guidelines

    The following is from the Maricopa County Parenting Guidelines from 2001. These are no longer online, but can be requested by e-mail to www.Bestlawaz.com.

     

    Birth to 12 Months

    Infants learn at a rapid rate. They are learning to love and trust familiar caregivers. Infants learn to attach to parents and others through consistent, loving responses such as holding, playing, feeding, soothing, talking gently and lovingly and meeting their needs promptly. They begin to respond to the different (but equally valuable) types of parenting mothers and fathers provide.

    Infants cannot retain experiences over time, so it is important that they have frequent contact with both parents and a predictable schedule and routine. But infants can retain ?emotional memories? of conflict that can have long-term negative effects, so parents should not argue when children, even infants, can overhear.

    By six months, infants can recognize their parents and other caregivers and may become uneasy around strangers. Regular caregivers are able to recognize their signals for food, comfort, and sleep. When away from them, infants may become anxious and may experience eating and sleeping problems.

    At this young age, it is important to maintain the infant?s basic sleep, feeding and waking cycles. Schedules should be adjusted so that disruption does not occur. For example, in creating access plans for this age group, parents should consider the special needs of breast-feeding infants.

     

    Plan A(1): Three periods of 3-6 hours, spaced throughout each week.

    Comment: Frequent contact helps the parent and child bond.

     

    Plan A(2): Two six-hour periods spaced throughout each week.

    Comment: This plan is helpful when the parents? work schedules or their levels of conflict make more frequent exchanges difficult. Because there are only two visits each week in this plan, bonding between the parent and child may proceed more slowly and the child may experience some difficulty going from one parent to the other.

     

    Vacation: Time blocks that vary significantly from the above are not recommended.

     

    Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

     

    Plan B: Two three-hour periods and one eight-hour period spaced throughout each week.

    (See Plan A above for Vacation and Holidays)

     

    Plan C: Two periods of three to six hours and one overnight each week.

     

    Vacation: Presuming that Plan C overnights have been ongoing, parents may have three consecutive overnights, weekend or midweek, twice each year. Each parent shall give the other parent thirty days written notice of vacation plans and an itinerary of travel dates, destination and places where the child or parent can be reached.

     

    Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

    What if My Spouse Does Not Allow Me to See My Children. Do I Still Need to Pay Child Support?

    Yes, you will still have an obligation to pay child support. You have an obligation to continue to pay child support until a court orders that you may stop. It is common for parents to want to withhold child support if the other spouse is not abiding by the court-ordered parenting time, but courts frown upon either party not following the court’s orders.

    How is Child Support Determined?

    Child support is decided upon these basic factors, plus whatever else each parent pays for: 1) monthly salary of each parent, 2) age of children, 3) parenting time, 4) day care costs, 5) medical insurance, 6) extracurricular expenses, and 7) number of other children not common to the marriage.

    Will the Court Tell Me When I Can See My Kids?

    Only if you and your spouse cannot agree. You really do not want to turn this life-changing decision over to a stranger who will only get to know your family in an hour or so of an evidentiary hearing. Not only do you relinquish all control, but having to testify and perhaps say negative things or answer embarrassing questions can leave the family scarred and impact future decisions. There is no need to litigate these issues unless there is a domestic violence, drug or other abuse issue, and you must have the help of the court to protect your children.

    My Wife Has the Kids Every Other Weekend, But She Works and Leaves Them With Her Mother. What Can I Do?

    It sounds like you might need to consider revisiting and amending your parenting agreement to better fit everyone’s schedule. At one time, you could have an agreement called a “first right of refusal.” This was a common provision, which reads that if one parent who has the kids is gone for more than four hours, s/he will call the other parent and offer them the “right” to parent the kids before anyone else. ?Unfortunately, this made people fight more often than it solved any problems and it is disfavored by the courts. Co-parenting requires constant changes, especially if a work schedule changes. ?Also, if it ?is just a temporary time change, ?it often might be a good idea to allow the grandmother and the kids to spend this time together. ?Did you encourage this relationship when you were still married? If so, why not continue it now? Remember, you might be in the same situation some day and you will want understanding and consideration from your partner at that time.

    Can I Stop My Spouse From Dating When She Has the Kids?

    No, as long as they are safe, there is not much you can do. You have the right to know who the children are spending time with and whether they are spending the night somewhere other than their home with the other parent. Be reasonable in these requests, but keep your children safe. You might want to know the person’s birth date and Social Security number so you can run a background check on him/her. You have a right to know your children are safe.

    When Mothers are Unmarried to Fathers

    When the mother is unmarried to the father, the mother has sole legal custody and sole physical custody, unless the parties make another arrangement or a court orders otherwise. A parent needs to file and ask for paternity, child custody, and child support. That does not mean that an unmarried father cannot see his child without court. The two parents can draft their own agreement and sign and date it, and it will become a court-enforceable agreement. They can also share parenting time without an agreement, but it is better to put it in writing. And, they should always have a written child support plan, usually paid through the Arizona Clearinghouse.

    Parenting Time Schedules

    Parenting time is the scheduled time a non-custodial parent can spend with a child. There are a variety of parenting time schedules that can be set up by a family, and the schedules can be as different as the families who use them. Some of the important factors to consider when choosing a plan are the child’s age, maturity, special needs, child’s relationships with siblings, distance between the households, flexibility of both parents’ work schedules, transportation needs, parent’s ability to care for the child’s needs, and many more.

    Holidays and Parenting Time

    If you are co-parenting with someone you do not live with, you may have to take extra time to make sure everyone is happy over the holidays. Oftentimes, there is a great deal of stress for children as they are taken from one parents’ home to another. Please think of your children and the holiday memories you are creating for them. Do you want them to recall all the good times such as baking cookie and the anticipation of Santa Claus? Or are you setting them up to remember arguments, tension, fighting and putting them in the middle of adult disputes? You and your co-parent should make sure you work together on resolutions, making sure your agreements are in writing and above all: put your childrens’ needs above your own!

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