Your divorce is over. Does this mean all parenting issues have been resolved? Hopefully, this is true. But life is not static. Children grow older and develop new, unanticipated issues. Parents’ relationships change. Financial situations for both the custodial and non-custodial parent are impacted by employment interruptions, physical problems and sometimes relocation of one of the parents. In addition, even after the parents have worked out everything in the divorce, new decisions will need to be made regarding the children as time goes on.
One of the best ways to deal with child custody and visitation issues is to have a specific, detailed parenting plan. Parenting plans provide stability as relationships change and seek to minimize conflicts between the parents.
Co-parenting arrangements, after the divorce is finalized, requires both parents to put the children’s best interest before their own. The parents must communicate with each other concerning all significant issues involving the children. Both parents should strive to maintain a positive attitude and only say affirmative things about the other parent. Neither parent should bad-mouth the other! The following is a list of factors that should be taken into consideration and be part of a co-parenting plan:
- Both parents should make decisions based on what is in the children’s best interest.
- Parents should speak to each other either on the phone, by text message or e-mail concerning all significant issues involving the children.
- The parents should strive to be flexible and reasonable with the other parent with regard to issues that impact on their children.
- Each parent should take into consideration that the other parent’s parenting style may be different than his or hers.
- Each parent should avoid questioning their child each time they come back from a visit with the other parent.
- Each parent should strive to keep the other parent informed regarding educational, social and athletic activities that the children are involved in.
- Conflict avoidance should be the mainstay of the co-parenting relationship.
Peace, Love and Consideration
Peace, love and consideration are the key components of a co-parenting plan. Parents should seek to avoid future arguments, disagreements and hostilities between each other. Both parents should make the love for their children as the central basis of the co-parenting plan. The best interest of the children should always be in both parents’ minds. Co-parenting plans should not be popularity contests between the parents. Children need parents to give them guidance. A parent is not a child’s friend. A parent is the person that has to see to it a child knows the difference between right and wrong. Popularity contests between parents have a negative impact on your child.
About the Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a well-respected matrimonial and family law attorney who has successfully represented parents concerning issues involving divorce, custody, visitation and other related matters. His office offers free initial consultations.