Establishing a parenting schedule that’s fair for everyone involved is a vital step in helping your kids adjust to their new normal. Although it’s mainly about dividing up parental responsibilities with your ex-spouse or partner, it must also be about communicating to your kids that they will always come first so you’re willing to co-parent with your ex as amicably and drama-free as possible. Here are some considerations to take into account to help you get started on your parenting schedule.
Put Yourself in The Shoes of your Children
Going back and forth between your home and your ex’s won’t be easy for your kids. However, neither is getting used to no longer being able to live with both of their parents. So prior to creating your parenting schedule, ask yourself what your kids stand to gain and miss out on when writing down the specifics.
The School and Extra-Curricular Activities of your Children
For instance, if your children stay at school past the usual time for three days a week for tutoring or sports practice, consider this when writing the parenting schedule. Additionally, don’t forget to take into account that your children’s schedule might change depending on the season.
Put simply, consider the most practical living arrangements to make shuffling back and forth between two separate homes easier on everyone involved, suggests one of the top family law solicitors in Townsville.
The Special Requirements of Each Child
You and your ex know best what your children need in order to get through their normal as easy and stress-free as possible. But this is especially crucial if you have child with special needs because you know how your child’s circumstances can easily affect his daily interactions, relationships, and disciplining. So as you assess the most suitable visitation arrangement for your child with extra special needs, remember to consider everything that will help your child adjust better.
Getting your Children Involved
Of course, this will only apply if your children are old enough. If this is the case, it’s best that you openly discuss your plans for the parenting schedule with them and then ask them if they have anything they want to change or perhaps add to the schedule. Even if you end up overruling and saying no to some of their requests, it’s vital that you give them the chance to speak up. This will also help make them feel more in control of their new lives and hopefully alleviate some of the fears and worries they might be feeling. After all, the parenting schedule is for them, so they should at least have a say in what should go into it.
Once you’re done with the parenting schedule, make sure to stick to it long enough and as closely as possible so you can get an idea of what’s working and what’s not. In the event that you find that some things are not working out, change them. And don’t forget that a parenting schedule should be a team effort so never make changes without consent from your ex.