There are myths in our society that after divorce dads are not actively involved in their children’s lives nor do they want to be. The fact for many is that they do want to be just as involved as when married or even more so post-divorce. The question for many is how to move forward and how to be best prepared to successfully gain this involvement which encompasses child custody, visitation and co-parenting.
BE PREPARED WHEN OFFERING CUSTODY AND VISITATION PROPOSALS
Divorce is unpleasant all the way around and when attempting to find ways to spend time with your kids there seems to be a maze of obstacles. Are you seeking an assertive visitation schedule and what custody options have you considered—joint, shared or sole custody? When you know what you would like to propose for both custody and visitation do you know the reasons why? Knowing what you need from your divorce concerning the kids and having the ability to communicate these needs well is vital.
When devising these plans, make sure they fit the needs of the children and are realistic. Many courts review proposals for implementation to be realistic for everyone as well as considering the child’s best interest. The key is to take the necessary time to become knowledgeable of options which would not only meet the children’s needs but also work well with employment schedules of both parents. This can take some serious preparation but can be accomplished when the appropriate time is taken in the outset of divorce and executed in a manner which is best proposed to your soon to be ex-spouse.
CREATING A PARENTING PLAN IS ESSENTIAL DURING DIVORCE
No matter how much you may dislike your soon to be ex-spouse, when the ink is dry on the decree, decisions made during divorce will then be lived on a day to day basis. It will be miserable co-parenting for years with a parenting plan that simply just doesn’t work. Or, you’ll spend more money and time in court attempting to tweak the one you created if it isn’t well planned for in advance.
When the children are spending time with each parent, knowing the other parent’s role is necessary for all family members. Decisions made as to how each parent will continue to be a part of the children’s lives when not in their physical care through extracurricular activities, communication and so forth is necessary. How will you and your ex-spouse communicate about the children on an on-going basis, how will each of you be kept abreast as to school events, physician’s visits as well as celebrate special times of the year when both parents desire to have time with the children?
Your parenting plan becomes the “creed of life” for you, your ex-spouse and your children once the divorce decree is signed. Plan for the immediate needs and then anticipate how life will change as the children mature so you can add some flexibility in your plan. It’s also wise to anticipate changes that may occur should you or your ex-spouse remarry. Would visitation exchanges be less stressful at a public location suitable for the children or should it occur at each parent’s home and how would this impact everyone when dating or remarriage occurs? There is much to consider when planning for your family’s future and how to parent across homes in the most sensible yet less stressful way.
As you co-parent and look forward toward spending time with your children when exercising child custody and visitation, you’ll want this time to be filled with making good memories not laced with anxiety. Most often, this depends upon the planning that was initiated during the divorce process so wise planning during such a stressful time often determines the likelihood of how effective decisions were made.
Photo: Getty Images