For couples going through a separation or divorce, one thing will never change: to their children, they will always be ‘mom and dad’.

In order for the children (child) to feel as stable and secure as possible, it is crucial for parents to understand and agree upon the complex decisions that will have to be made as the children grow up. My job is to help parents navigate these issues.

Here is a list of the areas parents will have to consider:

  • PARENTING TIME (sometimes referred to as custody and visitation): –Where will the child live most of the time during a normal week? Will the parents split parenting time 50/50 or some variation of that?
  • –How will parents divide their time with the child for the following: holiday weekends (3 day weekends); Thanksgiving; Christmas; New Years; school vacations,; summer vacation; birthdays (parents’ and childrens’); Mother’s and Father’s days
  • Transportation between households: includes pick ups and drops offs from school, etc.
  • Communication: How will the parents communicate with each other (by text, phone, etc) and how will the non-custodial parent communicate with the child?
  • Travel away from home during holidays
  • DECISION MAKING: Joint agreement, consultation or sole authority for decisions on:
  • Medical care (emergency, non-emergency and elective)
  • Education
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Religous upbringing
  • Childcare providers
  • INFORMATION SHARING: School and medical records
  • RELOCATION: Moving residence within a city or out of state
  • SIGNIFICANT OTHERS: How and when to inrtoduce child to a new partner

The age of the children will have a significant impact on all of the above. And it is important to remember that you will need to be flexible as unforeseen events arise that may disrupt the schedule. Finally, parenting schedules will need to be adjusted over time as the children age.

For a free consultation, email Hal Gessner at or call 917 453-5712.