When you divorce and you have children, one of the most important parts of the process is the establishment of a parenting plan. The parenting plan is essentially a guide you and your spouse create to lay out how you intend to co-parent your children after your divorce.
The parenting plan states where the child lives and when they visit the other parent, how you will make important decisions for the children, and how you intend to handle potential disputes. The following are some tips on how to create a successful parenting plan.
Maintain a Calendar
In the beginning, you should keep a calendar documenting all aspects of your visitation time with your children. Include the role you play in your child’s life on a regular basis, such as when you pick up or drop your children off to school or practices, or what nights you have special activities together.
When it is time to firm up your parenting plan, everyone can look at the calendar to see how you interact with your child and make the necessary plans accordingly.
Provide Proof You Have a Stable Home for Your Child
The next thing you should do is ensure you have a safe home to bring your child to if you left the marital home. You will appear unstable if you are living on a friend’s or relative’s couch with no home of your own.
When you leave the marital home, try to figure out some type of safe living arrangement right away with enough space for you and your children. You need to have suitable furnishings, particularly clean beds for the children to sleep in and functional utilities to provide for their basic needs.
Cooperate with Your Spouse as Much as Possible
When you work out your parenting plan with your spouse, you both need to work together and cooperate as much as you can. You will both have wants when you make the plan, but you both will need to be open to concessions in some cases.
The less conflict you have regarding your parenting plan, the more your children will benefit. If you make the transitions smooth, your children will adapt more quickly and will be more emotionally stable in the long run.
Consider Counseling If Necessary
When children start seeing their parents separately, the emotional toll it takes on them is great. If you and your spouse are consistently having emotional outbursts as well, the children’s emotional health will be jeopardized further. If appropriate, you or all of you as a co-parenting family unit should seek professional counseling to help work through any lingering issues you have.
Prove You Can Easily Reintegrate If You Expect a Long Absence
For some, a job or other circumstance can take one parent away from the child for long periods of time. It is understandable in many situations, such as with military parents or parents who work in an offshore capacity, that a child will not see a parent for a period of time.
If this is your current working situation, you need to work to establish easy reintegration into your children’s lives as soon as you return home. To do this, you should spend as much time as possible with your children when you are home.
Be sure to involve yourself in your children’s activities when you are home as well. Also, if possible, try to call or video chat with your children as often as you can while you are away. All of these steps will help ensure you are able to jump right back in where you left off.
If you need further assistance with your family law needs, please contact us at The Law Offices of Thomas Marola. We look forward to working with you.