One thing divorce doesn’t change is you being a parent. No matter what kind of co-parenting plan you and your ex-spouse create, whether it’s traditional or flexible, temporary or permanent, you can make the time you spend with your children pleasant and productive. The experienced Orange County family law attorneys at Holstrom, Block & Parke can answer any questions you may have about you child custody arrangements and is an ideal source for reliable legal counsel. The following are some hints on making the most of your time with your children — and making the transitions easier on them.
- You should always be prompt and on time. If you give the spouse or child a specific time that you will be arriving to pick him/her up, visit, whichever the case may be you to always live up to your word. This will help relieve the stress for children trying to adjust to their parents no longer living in the same home.
- Make sure that your visiting time remains parenting time. Some parents that are allowed visitation try to live up to this image that they have to be the “fun and outgoing” parent by treating their children to treats, fun dates, and special events. It is best not to overwhelm the child; they also need that time to listen to you get advice and know the dos and don’ts of society. Try not to solely become a friend.
- You should always try to include your extended family. Family is the most important and basic human need, so it is best that your children not lose touch with their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles on your specific side of the family tree. Make sure you include your extended family with your children so they never lose touch.
- Make your home their home. Get to know your neighbors and help your children make friends. Set a loose schedule so your children know what to expect. Use checklists, or separate sets of clothes and toiletries, to make sure they have what they need in both places they live.
- Make age-appropriate schedules. Toddlers and teenagers have different needs. Do the research and make sure your visitation schedule or parenting plan is meeting the emotional needs of your child’s current developmental stage.
- Respect your former spouse. Let your former spouse know about changes in your schedule and travel plans or if a new babysitter or romantic interest will be with your kids while they are with you. Communicate where you will be while you have the children and decide together how emergencies should be handled.
- You should never associate money with love. It is not recommended that you insert negative thoughts and comments about your spouse into your children’s heads. Try not to let whether or not your spouse has paid their monthly child support payment to determine whether or not they get to spend time with their kids.
- It is best that you not allow your children to arrange their own visitations. It is the responsibility of the spouses to make sure each child is allotted an equal amount of time to spend with each parent.
- Try not to let your children put you into unnecessary disagreements with your spouse. If one parent tells a child “no” to something, don’t let the child put you in the middle. It is best to encourage the child to resolve any problems or issues with that specific parent try not to interfere with that.
- Don’t make the kids into emotional mules. Don’t ask your kids to carry messages to your ex, don’t ask them to spy and don’t subject them to the third degree about every detail of time spent away with the other parent. The more they are able to enjoy their time as kids, with few adult worries, the better.
- Don’t take your child’s side in disagreements with the other parent. Let your children know they need to resolve problems with their other parent independently and don’t let them pull you into the middle of a dispute — unless you believe they are in danger or you have serious concerns.
- Don’t feel like you have to handle it all yourself. An experienced family law attorney at Holstrom, Block & Parke in Corona, California, has the knowledge to help you reach a resolution of your custody and visitation legal issues.