It can be challenging for parents who are no longer in a romantic relationship to successfully co-parent their children. Regardless of whether the parents are on good terms, a parenting plan can help ensure both parties are upholding their parental responsibilities.
Here are 4 ways to construct a solid parenting plan:
- Use a Parenting Schedule
It can be hard for children to adjust to the idea of divorce. Not only does this mean they may no longer be able to do activities with both parents at the same time, but also that they will no longer live in the same house as both parents. Children tend to thrive when they have a set daily routine. The sooner parents construct a schedule for time sharing, the sooner the child’s life can return to a state of normalcy.
- Respect the Child
Parents should never force their child to be the go-between. If a parent needs to communicate with the other, they should do so directly rather than use their child as the messenger. Not only could this cause the child undue stress, but (depending on the age of the child) they could end up relaying the message incorrectly. Parents should always respect their children by keeping them out of adult conversations and enjoying the time they have with them.
- Be Flexible
While a parenting schedule is very important, sometimes life gets in the way of preplanned custody arrangements and the schedule may need to be altered. For example, maybe the father of the child must go on a last-minute work trip on the weekend he is scheduled to have the kids. In this instance, the father and mother should work out an amendment to the schedule by having the mother keep the children for that weekend and allowing the father to take them the following weekend.
- Keep Exchanges Civil
If the parents have a hard time getting along, they should try to maintain civility when dropping off/picking up their child. For example, they shouldn’t say rude remarks to one another while exchanging the child or openly fight. If being together is an issue for the parents, they should make the exchange as brief as possible, so they don’t cause the child any unnecessary discomfort.
Helping Parents Create a Stable Parenting Schedule
With over 20 years of legal experience, our child custody attorneys can help you create a parenting schedule that works for all parties involved. We believe child custody and visitation arrangements should work in favor of what is best for the child and will do what we can to uphold this belief.
Call our firm today at (727) 939-6113 or contact us online for a case evaluation.