Child Custody, Establish a Parenting Plan

Posted by Christopher E. Heberg

The decision has been made and action was taken by filing for divorce or a Petition for Custody. Whether your case is by mutual agreement or contested, what must be agreed upon is the direction for raising your children. Whether you are the parent who has gained physical placement of your children or the parent who has visitation, you need to make sure that you are parenting together.

Your child has (or children have) the right to freely love both parents. While you may have bitter feelings or feelings of indifference towards your ex, you must not let those feelings ruin your child’s relationship with you or their other parent. You may find out that those feelings may have a greater negative impact on your relationship with your child/children than expected.

Putting together a parenting plan will help each party see that the needs of the children are the utmost priority. If the parties cannot agree, the courts will ultimately intervene to resolve visitation, support and custody. When a Judge intervenes they will not do what they think is best for you or your spouse’s particular situation, but do what they think is best for the entire case in general and this may not be anything close to how you wished your case to resolve.

It is always best to resolve your dispute on your own and in order to do this you should consider the following:

  • Having a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses responsibilities of each parent and understands the needs of the child/children.
  • Communicating with your ex-spouse. If schedules change, communicate. If there is an illness, communicate.
  • Honor the parenting plan that has been established.
  • Be as consistent as possible in discipline. Nothing causes more confusion than completely different discipline actions.
  • Always think about the children and their best interests first.

We have all seen have seen good divorced parents and bad divorced parents. Many times we can recollect being involved in conversations wondering why the ex-spouses can’t get along even for the children. Don’t let this happen to you.

If you have also been involved in conversations praising an ex-couple that are pleasantly co-parenting it is probably because they are being communicative parenting team, even though they are divorced. While you shouldn’t be concerned what other people say, you should be concerned what your children say and how they are adjusting to their new life, being separated from a parent they love.

It will take a great deal of work on both sides, but parenting together is the best choice in raising your children and working through the struggles that may occur. Having a solid parenting plan is almost always the best solution to a difficult situation.