Married couples with children should take extra care to consider the needs of their children as they go through a divorce. Establishing an effective parenting plan is one of the best things parents can do to minimize stress and foster a positive co-parenting relationship. The parenting plan includes information about vital issues, including the parenting time schedule and the allocation of parental responsibilities.
If you are getting divorced, finding common ground with your ex-spouse regarding parenting issues can be challenging. As you work to reach an agreement about the terms of your parenting plan, keep the following tips in mind.
Determine What You Will and Will Not Compromise On
First, be realistic about your expectations. You and your ex-spouse may not agree on all issues, so it is important to be open-minded to compromise. Pick your battles and focus on the things that are most important to you, but also consider what is best for your children. For example, you may have deeply held religious beliefs which make certain holidays especially important to you. You may insist on having parenting time during these holidays but are willing to give up parenting time on other special days.
Keep a Cool Head
It is important to remain calm and composed during negotiations, as an emotional outburst can damage your relationship with your ex-spouse and make the process of negotiating a parenting plan even more difficult. Even if you are feeling upset or frustrated by what your ex-spouse is saying, try to keep a handle on your emotions. If necessary, take a break and come back to the conversation later.
Communicate Openly and Respectfully
Be sure to listen carefully to what your ex-spouse is saying and address their concerns with respect. Keeping open lines of communication will help you reach a resolution more quickly, as well as ensure that both parents are comfortable with the terms of the parenting plan. If you are having a hard time communicating, consider working with a mediator who will encourage productive discussion.
Make Your Parenting Plan as Detailed as Possible
Your parenting plan should include as much detail as possible regarding the parenting time schedule, holidays and vacation time, communication between both parents and children, decision-making, and other topics. Even if some of the details seem minor, they can be important to your children’s well-being during and after the divorce process.
Contact our Palatine Divorce Lawyer
If you are ready to divorce and you share children with your spouse, contact Arlington Heights divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson for help. Call The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential case assessment.