Your divorce will be difficult for your kids, no matter how amicable you and your spouse may be. Even in a straightforward divorce, kids may experience some sense of upheaval and stress, and you and other Colorado parents will want to work to ensure the children do not experience unnecessary duress. One way you can do this is by creating a strong and thoughtful parenting plan.
A parenting plan is a powerful tool, and it is one you should be sure to utilize to the best of your ability. This means viewing it as more than just a way to decide how much time your children spend with each parent. When used the right way, a parenting plan can provide a sense of security while reducing the chance of post-divorce conflict.
What’s in it?
One of the most important aspects of a parenting plan is determining how the children will split their time between the parents’ houses. It’s important for the terms to be fair and allow the kids to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. Other important considerations for your parenting plan include:
- It should account for the work schedules of both parents, and it should include terms that address holiday visitation, summer breaks and more.
- The parenting plan should account for the developmental needs of the kids. For example, younger kids will have different emotional and mental needs than older children.
- The more detailed a parenting plan is, the stronger it is. Details can reduce the chance of conflict and confusion, and it will make it easier to communicate.
A parenting plan should be unique to your family. You have the ability to create terms that will be most meaningful to your children, which could allow you to address specific needs and concerns that pertain to your individual situation.
When creating your parenting plan, you may find it beneficial to think long-term. What makes sense now may not work in the future. Ultimately, your goal is to protect the best interests of your kids above all else, even above your own feelings. To reach the best terms for your plan, it may be critical to remove your emotions from the negotiations and think about what the kids need to feel safe, secure and loved after a divorce.