If you have children and are getting a divorce, you must have a parenting plan. Here are some simple tips to help you create a parenting plan that works for you. Most of all, be sure the parenting plan benefits your children.
1. Put Your Children First
Before you consider your schedule, your ex’s schedule, or what is easiest for you, think about what would be best for your children. A plan in the best interests of your kids may not be the easiest for you. It may require some accommodation on your part. That’s okay. Make sure your children are the focus of your parenting plan.
2. Bring Up Real Concerns About Custody
If you have legitimate concerns about the safety of your children when they spend time with your ex — such as regarding a history of domestic violence or drug use — it’s important for the court to know this. However, if you simply disagree with their parenting style, this isn’t a legitimate issue for curtailing how much parenting time they get.
3. Use Reason When Creating a Parenting Plan
Although you may want 90% custody of your children, this is not realistic if there’s no legitimate reason why your ex should not share equal parenting time. Understand that although you may have difficulty with your ex, they are still your children’s other parent. Be reasonable when it comes to creating a schedule that allows you both to spend adequate time with the kids.
4. What Do Your Children Want?
If your children are old enough to make decisions about where they spend their time, let them. It may be hard to hear that your child wants to spend the majority of their time with your ex, but if you don’t respect the wishes of children who are old enough to verbalize them, you could be creating animosity between you and your child.
5. Get Your Parenting Plan Set Up Right Away
Divorce is difficult for children to process. From the start, they need an established routine that can give them something to count on when it seems like their whole world is crashing down. If you haven’t broken the news to your kids yet, consider waiting until you and your ex agree on a parenting plan so you can implement it right away.
For help establishing a parenting plan that works for your family, contact Naples Family and Divorce lawyer Kevyn Noonan Hayes, P.A. today at (239) 591-6248.