Posted on: 16 December 2015
For divorcing parents, the creation of a fair and useful parenting plan can help provide a seamless transition for your children and lessen the acrimony of stressful courtroom battles. If you and your spouse can set aside your issues and work together for the sake of your children, you can save both time and money and end up with a personal, custom-designed plan that addresses the needs of both you and your children. Read on to get 10 useful child custody tips.
1. Set the tone for future issues by starting with areas that you both easily agree on, such as school choice or vacation plans.
2. Take a hard look at your work schedules. No matter how much you want and need to spend time with your child, over-scheduling will just cause stress, confusion and chaos.
3. Your children are already facing an upheaval in daily life with the separation of their parents, so don't add to the problem with an overly-complicated visitation and custody plan. Keep it simple and as close to the present schedule as possible.
4. Build some flexibility into your agreement and be ready for sickness, car break downs and weather emergencies. Have a contingency plan in place for emergencies and a list of go-to people who can step in to assist with picking up, dropping off and sitting.
5. No matter how much you may value your child's opinion, don't be tempted to place too much pressure on them to make custody and visitation decisions. Take the child's viewpoint into consideration, but don't place an adult-sized burden on them.
6. Be lenient about allowing contact with the other parent when the child is in your custody. A phone call to other parent can help the child feel more secure.
7. Get organized with a shared online calendaring system to help keep up with the plethora of school obligations and projects, vacation and holiday plans, social events, etc. It's important to give the child a sense of continuity by not missing that important friend's birthday party, for example.
8. Children thrive on routines, so make sure that each parent follows the same basic bedtime, meal and homework schedule each day.
9. Make sure to set up a plan for stipulating who takes over if one parent cannot attend to custody and visitation for several days or weeks, such as in the case of an extended illness. If the other parent cannot fill in, perhaps a grandparent or other trusted family friend could step in.
10. As children grow older, be prepared to be more flexible with visitation schedules. A child who is still a minor, but is old enough to drive should have some say in who they spend their time with, to a certain degree. Don't be surprised if your teenager prefers spending time with friends instead of either parent, however.
Contact a divorce attorney like Kalamarides & Lambert for help in crafting a custody agreement that is fair and workable.Share