Working out the schedule for co-parenting

When arranging parenting time, you can run into legal terms and rules that are difficult to understand. In addition, certain factors come into play, such as how far away parents live from each other. You want to work out a schedule that is practical and in your children’s best interests.

The following questions and answers might help you understand some of the issues and guidelines related to parenting time.

What is a standard possession order?

The standard possession order establishes the time parents spend with their child. It would set the minimum amount of time that the non-custodial parent would spend.

How does the residential distance between parents factor into arranging parenting time?

Guidelines recommend schedules based on parents who live within the following distances from each other:

  • 50 miles
  • 51 to 100 miles
  • More than 100 miles


How does a standard possession order differ from a court ordered visitation schedule?

If  you don’t have a court order that establishes a visitation schedule, you and the other parent can agree on a schedule based on standard possession.

What are default and election schedules for a standard possession order?

The noncustodial parent can choose between the default or election option when settling the terms of visitation. As far as determining how a child spends weekends involving visitation, weekends fall into the first, third and fifth Fridays of each month.

For parents living within 50 miles of each other—

Example of default option

Pickup would occur when school lets out for the weekend. Drop-off would occur at the time school resumes for the next week. During summer or other school breaks, pickup would be on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Drop-off would be on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Example of election option

Pickups are on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Drop offs are on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Do you need legal help?

If you have problems with arranging a parenting schedule, consult with an attorney. Gain a better understanding of what is in your and your children’s best interests and how to protect their rights. Contact us online or call 972.752.3474.