HOW TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE PARENTING SCHEDULE
Creating a parenting schedule for your children with your ex-spouse as a co-parent is a vital first step in assisting them in adjusting to their parent’s divorce. In order to secure the greatest possible outcome for your children, you must demonstrate your willingness to work together when it comes to child custody. When planning your first parenting schedule, keep the following standards in mind.
Parenting Scheduling Considerations
You need to think about logistics, your children’s needs, and their obligations while establishing your family’s parenting schedule. You must be sensitive and considerate if you want a successful parenting schedule. Consider the following factors.
Try To See Things From Your Children’s Point Of View.
Traveling back and forth between two residences isn’t always simple. A similar period of adjustment is required for children who have only ever known a household with both parents as their primary residents.
Before deciding on a co-parenting schedule, put yourself in the shoes of your children and envisage what their daily lives would be like. Make a list of the things they stand to gain and the things they stand to lose. Then, do your best to minimize the inconveniences.
Be Aware of the Transportation Issues
Ideally, you should live close enough to one another so that transportation is manageable for all parties involved in a shared parenting situation. Even if you don’t have children of school age or soon-to-be school age, it’s a good idea to explore busing between your two homes.
Additionally, the availability of daycare providers is a factor to keep in mind. As a parent of small children, it makes sense to ensure that your parenting schedule allows for the continuation of a regular babysitter. As a result, your children will be exposed to less change at a time.
Consider Your Children’s Schedules
Considering your children’s after-school activities when you arrange your parenting schedule is a good idea. In addition, don’t forget about seasonal events.
Creating a parenting schedule that forces your children to give up a preferred pastime is something you should avoid. Doing so would be a further tragedy for your children.
Decide If Children Should Be Included In The Process.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to include your children in the planning process. In the case of infants or toddlers, it may not be feasible to include their opinions in the process of creating a schedule. You and your ex-partner must then work together to come up with a parenting strategy that works best for your children at this point in their life.
No need to be afraid of involving your children. It is important to remember that asking children which days they prefer is not the same as allowing them to choose where they reside.
What Not to Do When Scheduling Your Child’s Care
Making a timetable for your children might be tricky, but there are a few typical mistakes former partners make when trying to do so.
Don’t Set Your Goals Based on Convenience
The temptation is to construct a convenient parenting schedule. Your parenting schedule should serve as a tool to assist your children in retaining strong ties with both of their parents, which involves finding methods to cooperate with one other in this regard.
Don’t Worry About Winning Or Losing.
At times, it’s easy to compare how much you’ve given up on your current relationship with your ex-partner. Doing what is best for your children should always come first, no matter how many times you give in. Realistically, you’ll both have to make compromises. Even if you don’t see it immediately, your partner may be altering things at work or home that you aren’t aware of. You shouldn’t assume your ex isn’t making any efforts.
Take No Vengeance on the Schedule
Compromises that have major expenses should not be part of your parenting schedule so that you can harm your former partner’s personal life or job in the process. Let your kids’ needs take precedence over your own personal agendas. It’s not a good idea to make your ex “pay” for your past mistakes or the agony you’ve undergone during this time of pre-marital planning.
If you think you are the only qualified parent, you are wrong.
You may have more experience dealing with certain issues, such as bedtime rituals, meltdowns, and school assignments, but that doesn’t mean your ex can’t develop the same abilities when given the opportunity to step in.
Observe Your New Parenting Routine in Action!
You and your ex should strive to stick to a basic parenting schedule for as long as possible after you’ve sorted out the details. You can always modify your plan.
In addition, keeping to your original schedule for two to four weeks will help you distinguish between the usual hiccups that come with a new living arrangement and the actual scheduling concerns that need to be formally addressed.
On When to Hand Your Parenting Responsibilities to the Courts:
Finally, don’t forget to set up a parenting schedule with your ex-partner. This can be quite helpful. The timetable demonstrates to your children that you’re both willing to work together to establish a strong co-parenting relationship and gives you both a voice in the decision-making process.
However, if you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on a parenting plan, a court can make the decision for you. Requests from any parent can be made for this. Choosing this path may necessitate the services of an expert family law attorney.
Even when the courts are engaged, there’s no way to influence the decision. As a result, you may have to make more compromises and have less time to spend with your children than you had originally planned.
Be sure that this is a risk you are willing to accept before deciding to take it to court. If possible, it is always ideal to work together. However, if your ex-spouse is a controlling, emotionally abusive, or unpleasant person, you may have little choice but to end your relationship with them.