Children crave structure and stability. When you are in the middle of a contentious divorce with your ex, it’s crucial to establish a fair parenting plan to help your kids adjust during this challenging life transition. As you consider your child’s needs and schedule, here are four tips for creating a parenting plan with your ex that works for everyone:
1. Establish your new schedule as soon as possible
Divorce is hard on everyone, but it can be an especially difficult adjustment for children. After all, they’ll quickly be splitting their time between two separate households. The sooner you can establish a consistent routine during your separation, the easier it will be for your children to adjust to their new circumstances. Having a routine your kids can rely on will make things much easier during this uncertain time.
2. Consider your child’s schedule first
When creating your new parenting schedule, put yourself in your kid’s shoes and consider their existing activities. Divorce is already a significant disruption to their lives, so it’s essential to try to minimize any further changes to their schedule. For example, if your child is involved in extracurricular activities, you should try to allow your parenting schedule to accommodate these hobbies, so they don’t have to lose a favorite activity.
3. Be reasonable with your ex
Divorce is hard on the whole family, but don’t let any lingering resentments towards your ex prevent your child from having a strong relationship with both parents. Even if you see your ex as the enemy, there’s a good chance your children still love them. Try to take a step back and be reasonable when arranging your parenting plan so your kids can still have valuable time with both of you.
4. Determine whether you should involve your kids
While young children usually aren’t able to express what they want from a custody arrangement, allowing older children to add their input can be beneficial for everyone. You don’t have to let them decide everything but having an open discussion about their preference regarding certain days of the week will give them a sense of control and allow them to feel heard.
Parenting with an ex after divorce isn’t always a walk in the park. However, by setting your conflicts with your ex aside and considering your kids’ needs, you can ensure they maintain strong relationships with both of you.