In this context, parenting refers generally to the way in which parents will raise their children following separation and divorce. Navigating your relationship as co-parents can be a very difficult task. This is why it is extremely important to have a plan in place to help mitigate conflict down the road. There are many different parenting situations and what works well for one family, may not work for another. Our team of Calgary divorce lawyers understand the importance of creating a comprehensive parenting plan as part of your settlement agreement.
Why You Need A Parenting Plan
On a practical basis, there is a lot to consider when developing a parenting plan. A good plan will do far more than simply set out the day-to-day schedule. It will provide your children with security and consistency. A good parenting plan will have a clear outline of the procedures and expectations of each parent. This way, there is a standard routine to ad here to when it comes to raising the children. Taking the time to map out how you and your ex will manage the details of parenting in the future greatly reduces the risk of a high conflict situation later on. This is extremely beneficial as childrens exposure to conflict is the single most important factor in their development.
How To Create A Parenting Plan That Works
The day-to-day parenting plan that is put in place depends on the age and stage of development of the children and the employment obligations of the parents. Its generally considered in the best interests of young children to have frequent, but shorter visits, so that they are able to bond with each parent. Young children often feel anxious around strangers and need quality time with each parent to ensure they are able to develop a strong relationship. Additionally, young children benefit from routine and thus, should have a consistent eating, sleeping, and visiting schedule. Parents should be sure to follow their children’s routine when they are in their care to help them feel safe and settled in each home.
Generally, school age children can handle longer periods of time away from a parent but still benefit from routine. At this age, children become more dependent on their friends, and should be encouraged to develop relationships outside of the family. For this reason, they may favour spending more time at one parents house if it is closer to their peers. This desire for social interaction outside of the family will continue to grow as children become teenagers. Parents need to consider things like sleepovers and extracurricular activities and ensure their schedules align with the determined parenting time.
How To Plan For Vacations, School Breaks and Holidays
For vacations, school breaks and holidays parents often opt to impose parenting plans that differ from their regular schedule. This can be beneficial to ensure children get to spend quality time away from school with both of their parents. Its important to put children first when planning for special occasions. Both parents should be flexible when creating arrangements that will affect the time the child spends with their family. As a result, it may be necessary to celebrate some holidays or events outside of their official date. Additionally, its a good idea to schedule phone calls between your children and the other parent during holidays to make the child feel connected and at ease.
At Jones Divorce Law LLP our divorce lawyers study comprehensive parenting plans and have a list of things to consider when helping you develope your parenting guidelines. Take advantage of our knowledge and experience and allow us to help you establish a parenting plan that will work for you and your family. Connect with us to schedule your initial consultation today.