A divorce affects the couple, as well as others around them. If there are children involved, it can have a serious effect on them.
In order to make the process as smooth as possible for the children, it is important to have a proper parenting plan in place. To accomplish this, there are a few things that you as a divorcing parent should keep in mind.
Keep the child first
As long as there is no history of domestic violence, the court will likely view shared custody as the best option. Studies show that children who have both parents in their lives tend to thrive more than those within a one-parent home. Therefore, even in the context of a divorce, it is best for you and your co-parent to work out a way for you both to remain in your children's lives.
Throughout the course of the divorce, emotions may run high, and judgment may become cloudy. However, for the well-being of your children, you should learn to put your feelings aside and focus on what your child needs while making the parenting plan. Learning to do this in the beginning stages can be beneficial. As your children grow, so will their needs, and you may need to make modifications to the parenting plan. There may be special events that pop up and may require flexibility as well. Working together will allow you and your co-parent to reach agreements that can be favorable for everyone.
There are a few elements that should be in any parenting plan. Some of the key aspects include:
- Designation of legal residency for the children
- Exchange and transportation arrangements
- Special events and holidays schedule
- Mode of information-sharing and decision-making
Certain aspects are requirements by law, while others help to create a conducive co-parenting environment. You may add additional agreements that fit your particular situation.
Your relationship with your children is one of your greatest assets. Take your time and make sure that your parenting plan properly addresses your children's needs and helps to create a healthy environment for your changing family.