Shared custody or co-parenting arrangements have become the gold standard for modern divorces. With a few, relatively rare exceptions, the courts prefer to see both parents working together for the benefit of the children.

Finding ways to split up parenting time is often quite challenging. Many parents struggle with sharing time on important days like birthdays, graduation and other major events in the lives of the children they share with their ex. There are two distinct approaches to this process.

You can split individual days or choose to alternate them

For couples who really don’t want to see one another after a divorce, splitting up those special events may be the easiest way to handle important days in the lives of their children. Sometimes, having one parent spend time with the children during the first half of the day and then the other to take responsibility for the second half can be the best approach.

Other times, having the whole day could be the desired outcome, which often prompts parents to alternate holidays and special events in their parenting plan.

It can benefit everyone if you can share

Obviously, the best outcome for your divorce is one that works for your whole family, but it’s important to consider not just what you want but what your kids want.

While you may want to avoid spending time with your ex, your kids probably want both of their parents cheering at their basketball game or singing happy birthday to them. If possible, arranging to share those important days can be beneficial for your children.

For some couples, having short-term time-sharing arrangements after the divorce that eventually evolve into shared holidays and birthdays can be a great option as the family learns to co-parent successfully.