A separation and divorce can be particularly difficult time for children. It is pertinent that you as a parent provide your child(ren) with as much stability as you can during an emotionally taxing period of their lives. Access and parenting plans put in a place a fixed schedule for access and custody that both parents will be required to adhere to. This ensures that the child(ren) are given a sense of routine and stability.

At G Law Group we will assist you in negotiating a suitable access schedule. Where the parents are unable to agree on an access plan G Law Group will assist in scheduling a mediation or arbitration on the matter that will assist the parties in coming to a mutually agreed upon schedule.  If the parties choose to attend arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision on the access schedule will be binding on both parties.

Should mediation fail or if the parties do not agree to arbitrate, G Law Group will represent you in having the matter brought before the court. If the matter goes before the court, G Law Group will work with you to prepare a proposed schedule for the judge. The judge can choose to accept either parents schedule or will create a new one, depending on the circumstances of each case. The judge’s decision will be laid out in a court order which is binding on both parties and must be followed.

Some considerations when preparing access and parenting plans are residential and holiday schedules.

Residential Schedule

You will want to determine the weekly schedule for the child(ren). Where will the child(ren) be spending time during the week and with whom? Will the child(ren) be splitting time between both parents during the week, or will the child(ren) be residing with one parent primarily?

Holiday Schedules

Negotiating holiday schedules can be quite difficult and conflict ridden. It is important to be prepared with a well-structured access plan to avoid conflicts at the last minute. Holiday schedules that need to be considered include:

  • Summer Holiday Schedule
  • Supervised or Non-supervised Access
  • Birthdays
  • Long weekends

You will want to think about how holiday time is split. Some common arrangements for holidays include:

Alternate Years:

The child will spend alternate years during the holidays with each parent. For example, one year the child(ren) may spend Christmas holidays with one parent and the following year with the other parent.

Split Holiday Time:

Splitting the holiday time means the child(ren) will spend half of the holiday time with one parent and the other half with the other parent. The specific days of the split can be negotiated.

Fixed Schedule:

A fixed schedule for specific days of during the holiday period can be scheduled. For example, the child could spend Christmas with one parent and New Years with the other.