What are some resources that parents can use when developing a parenting time schedule?

Parents may agree to use a neutral third party to help them discuss and develop their parenting time schedule or to make changes to an existing parenting time schedule. Parents may use professionals or non-professionals to assist them. One resource for additional information about neutral third parties is the Judicial Branch Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) website. Parents may also want to visit the Judicial Branch Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) website. Other resources may be available in your community.

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Q: What is the difference between a “parenting plan” and a “parenting time schedule”?

A: A parenting time schedule and a parenting plan are not the same thing. In Minnesota, the rights and responsibilities of each parent may be set forth in either a custody order or a parenting plan, but not both. Custody orders and parenting plans are governed by different statutes and have different requirements. However, every custody order and every parenting plan must contain a parenting time schedule.

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How to Create a Parenting Time Schedule with Children of Different Ages

When there is more than one child in a family, it is usually beneficial for parents to create one parenting time schedule for all of the children. This is a supportive way to maintain sibling relationships. However, when there are significant age differences between siblings, children may benefit from different parenting time schedules due to their different developmental needs.

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What is a “child focused” consideration and why is it so important to maintain in my family?

It is important for parents to support each other’s relationship with the child. Forming, maintaining, and supporting a positive parent-child relationship with each parent is a life-long process, rooted in the early years and extending beyond childhood. Children adjust more easily to change, stress, and loss if their parents work together respectfully to develop healthy ways of communicating, resolving problems, and reducing conflict. 

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