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How do I schedule time when my child is not with either parent?

There may be times when your child is neither with you nor your ex. During these times, your child could be visiting with grandparents, with other relatives, at school, at daycare or doing an extracurricular activity. In your parenting plan, you'll want to identify this time as "third-party time."

It will be important to clarify third-party time throughout the week because this shows how much time the children actually spend with both parents. For example, imagine if a child spent Saturday and Sunday with the first parent each week, and Monday through Friday with the second parent. In many respects, the weekend parent would actually get more time to spend with his or her children because during the week, the child could spend the majority of his or her time at school, daycare and doing after-school activities. Many parents may find that a 60-40 split of parenting time on paper works out to about a 50-50 split after calculating how third-party time affects the actual parenting time percentages.

Third party time will serve as an important tool to work out a fair schedule with the other parent. This way you and your ex can achieve an equal and fair parenting time percentage -- and your children will get the chance to spend a more equal and fair amount of time with both parents, which will ultimately serve your child's best psychological, developmental and emotional interests.

Need help calculating third-party parenting time in divorce proceedings? A New York family law attorney can assist you with all of your child custody, divorce and family law needs.

Source: CustodyXChange, "3rd Party Time in Your Visitation Schedule," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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