Time Sharing for Children of Divorce
One of the most difficult aspects of any divorce involving children is how to split up the time kids spend with each parent. It can be devastating for a parent to have to limit contact with a beloved child. Nonetheless, it is one of the realities of divorce. That being said, it seems like a good idea for parents to wrap their heads around the notion that their time with the kids is going to change—and it’s up to them to ensure the children are unharmed in the process. Here are some ideas on how to do that.
Children are experiencing a loss through no fault of their own. As parents, you can minimize that loss by reassuring them that you will strive to keep their lives as free from disruptions as possible. That means keeping their schooling, pets, friendships, and routines in mind as you develop a schedule for them to spend time with each parent.
Rely on Relationships
Now, more than ever, kids need the support of extended family. Grandparents, cousins and the like are part of their identity, and those relationships can provide solace in unnerving times. Likewise, encourage your child to have a strong relationship with your former spouse. Making them feel guilty for enjoying their time away from you only hurts them. Allow them the joy of secure, loving relationships.
Keep the Peace
Conflict between parents needs to be kept out of earshot of children. They don’t need to know you’re disappointed or angry because your ex was late, nor do they need to be asked to spy on your ex. Allow them to be kids, while you step up to do the adulting. While you’re at it, treat your ex with courtesy and respect. Children need to see that!
Prepare for Disruptions to the Schedule
No schedule will be exactly right for every situation, and being prepared to adjust is essential. While it may be Dad’s Saturday for the kids, if there’s a birthday party your child wants to attend in the neighborhood, you’ll have to figure out how to work things out to everyone’s satisfaction. Likewise, if Mom is scheduled to take the kids to soccer practice on Tuesday after school but winds up having to work late, maybe there’s a way Dad could step in. When parents cooperate in the best interests of their children, it gives the kids the space to develop healthy relationships that pay off now and in the future.
Creating the Parenting Time Calendar
The bottom line in Florida courts is that kids’ needs come first. As parents, you can facilitate healthy outcomes by working together to develop a calendar for everyday implementation, as well as one that adjusts for summer vacation, holidays and emergencies. While it’s a somewhat daunting task, developing that parenting plan is essential. At WiseLieberman, PLLC, we can support you as you work to create the best calendar for all concerned parties. Contact our Boca Raton divorce attorneys for a confidential consultation today.