When you're in the midst of a divorce and custody dispute, it can be difficult to be objective about the finer details. For example, one of the most important things that you and your spouse will do is to establish a visitation schedule for your kids. The turmoil and upheaval of divorce can leave kids searching for some sense of consistency and stability, and a predictable visitation schedule is a good place to start. Here are some tips to help you create a schedule that will work for everyone.
Create Two Homes
You may have heard the statement that kids need a single home base in the aftermath of a divorce. The truth is, there is no reason why kids can't be established and comfortable in both parents' houses. If you create a space for your kids in your home and your ex does the same, it ensures that your kids have somewhere to call their own no matter where they are.
The consistency of having a bedroom of their own, a spot to do homework and a normal routine in each house will make the transition easier. It helps your children to understand what is expected of them and what this new life is going to be like. With a little bit of effort, you can make your child feel at home in both places, minimizing the upheaval of going back and forth.
Set a Consistent Schedule
For kids, one of the hardest parts of transitioning after divorce is the uncertainty. Without a solid visitation schedule in place, kids have no way to know for sure when they will see the non-custodial parent. Creating a sense of consistency to the visitation right from the start will help to make the process easier for everyone.
You may find that every other weekend and a night in the middle of the week is the best option for you. If you and your soon-to-be-ex live near each other, it's a practical arrangement. However, just because that's one of the most common visitation schedules doesn't mean that it works for everyone. Few things can disrupt the balance of things for your kids like setting a schedule and then not sticking with it.
If your work schedule or daily routine calls for a different plan, explore the options. You can alternate entire weeks or even break the calendar up into five-week blocks. These longer durations can make the transitions easier for kids, because they move back and forth less frequently. This type of schedule will only work, though, if the children are comfortable with that much time. Some young kids are attached to one parent or the other and an extended period away can be emotionally difficult.
The best part about parenting plans is that they are customizable to your needs. When you consider the information presented here, you'll be more likely to create a plan that will work for you, your children and your spouse. A good family law attorney, like those at Deborah L Kenney Attorney At Law or other local family law specialists, can help you make the transition as painless as possible.Share