Parenting Plan Preparations During Divorce
Parents who divorce almost always place the health and well-being of their children at the top of the priority list. Children will need the support of both parents more than ever as parents begin the divorce process and move forward. However, when both parents are equally enthusiastic about spending time with their children, the situation can get divisive. Read on for some thoughts on how to handle things when it's time to create your parenting plan.
Be Prepared for the Coming Changes
For most parents, just the thought of giving up precious time with their children is alarming. Many families have much-loved traditions during the holidays and memories of time spent during summer vacation. You should prepare yourself for making compromises—you cannot expect to spend time with your child in the same way you have been. Your soon-to-be ex deserves equal time with your children and depriving them is unhealthy for everyone. That being said, parents divorce all the time and are able to create great parenting plans to follow and you can too.
Use Legal Expertise
Your divorce attorney is likely well-versed in child custody issues and will be ready to offer a number of solutions, plans, and compromises when trouble arises. Both you and your ex need to think about what your children need, their schedules, holidays, vacations, birthdays, and more. Additionally, consider everyday issues like education, discipline, and religion. Each plan should be customized and specific to address your own unique needs. Reach as far into the future as you can so that your plan continues to be relevant for a long time.
Be Prepared for Compromises
It's easy enough to decide which parent spends time with the children on an everyday basis. Often, one parent will be with the child throughout the school week and the other will have a long weekend with them. If there are disagreements, it's often concerning emotional events like birthdays and holidays. You might need to readjust your thinking and create ways for the child to experience these events in a new way.
1. Keep in mind that disrupting your child's schedule and life as little as possible is the goal, so plan for them to spend a lot of time in their old neighborhood.
2. Older kids will have different needs than younger ones and will require more independence. If they are able to drive, consider letting them have more power over where they spend time and when.
3. Place a priority on communicating with your ex. Consider using a shared online calendar that is frequently updated with doctor's appointments, recitals, games, lessons, science project deadlines, and more.
To learn more, speak to a divorce attorney such as Gomez May LLP.