In Washington, children generally don't get to make the child custody calendar. The courts do not consider the children’s preferences if the child is under 16 years old. The courts may take 16- and 17-year-olds’ opinions into consideration, but they don’t get to fill out the schedule themselves. However, children can give their parents input and their needs should be a prime consideration.
The Complexities of Custody Scheduling
Divorce – particularly when there are kids involved – is unbelievably complicated. When creating a custody calendar, consider the following.
- School schedules
- Your kids’ desire to be close to their friends
- Parents’ work schedules and vacation time
- Extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, which change on a seasonal basis
- Teenagers’ job schedules
Keep in mind that some studies find that divorce may affect high school dropout rates. Parents should consider the level of attention that a child needs to make it through the short but very important high school years.
Custody calendars, much like life, are also highly dynamic, requiring change and routine tweaking. Families with multiple children will have even more scheduling factors to consider. And as the children get older, they may feel more strongly about staying with either parent for practical reasons, e.g., they have a boyfriend in that neighborhood or are simply at the stage where they identify more with a parent of the same sex.
Using an Online Calendar for Custody and Visitation
Online calendars can be a very helpful tool for divorced parents. There are several free and premium schedules your family all easily access so that everybody can see when important events occur.
- Children’s doctors’ appointments
- Sports practices
- Birthday parties
Google Calendar is one of the easiest and widely used options. You can create a calendar and invite your ex- (and even your older children) to the calendar to input key events. You can also use it to keep track of your attorney meetings, mediation, and court dates.
Other online calendar options include the following.
- Our Family Wizard®
- Custody X Change
Each of the calendars has different functions that you may find useful, many of which are available on mobile. For example, some calendars enable to you to calculate percentages of custody based on overnights, and some have the option to generate print schedules and reports.
Legal Help for Custody Issues
Of course, using an online calendar and creating a workable custody plan can only be effective if terms are relatively amicable, and both parents are willing to participate. For contentious cases, or for help creating a care calendar that’s in the best interests of your child, you are welcomed to call our family law firm, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, at 425-460-0550.