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Possibilities for flexible child visitation schedules

Parents in Texas can create a number of different arrangements for child custody and visitation depending on their schedules. While a traditional arrangement in which the noncustodial parent has the child every other weekend might work for situations in which parents work regular 9-to-5 jobs Monday through Friday, this is not the case for every parent.

If the custodial parent often travels on weekends, for work or other reasons, the child could stay with the noncustodial parent until Monday. Another alternative is for a child to have a weekday evening visit with the noncustodial parent. This could also be turned into an overnight stay.

If the custodial parent works a swing shift, the noncustodial parent could pick up the child after school each day for homework help and dinner, and the child could stay at that parent's house until the custodial parent gets off work. In another arrangement, the child might live with the custodial parent through the weekend and spend Tuesday to Thursday with the noncustodial parent. These more unconventional arrangements may require the parents to communicate more about their schedules and the child's schedule, but they can be the best solutions for all parties.

There are a few other things parents can do to make these arrangements run more smoothly. With the help of an attorney, they might want to create a parenting plan comprised of household rules that both parents agree to enforce. This creates more consistency in the child's life. Parents should also avoid saying negative things about each other in front of the child. The custody and visitation arrangement should include plans for holidays and vacations. These plans should be made well in advance so that children know what to expect and to reduce the likelihood of conflict between parents. Parents may also want to get feedback from older children as to what type of schedule they would prefer.

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