When parents divorce, the court usually tries to ensure that both parents see the children at least some of the time following a divorce. This may mean an even split — such as the classic every-other-week arrangement — or it may not. But it will usually mean that, to one degree or another, parents will have to learn how to share custody.
Changes in parenting time can be difficult to accept
It isn’t always easy. For one thing, parents may struggle with the changes to the sheer amount of time they won’t see the kids. Plus, despite the jokes parents may hear about having more free time, not everyone can look at that kid-free week as a vacation or a relief. Many parents report desperately missing their children and wishing they could see them more — even when they know it’s only fair for both parents to be involved.
Dealing with a lack of control
Parents can also feel a lack of control. Maybe you always put your children to bed at 8:00 sharp, after feeding them a healthy meal and playing a board game to engage their minds. Your ex, though, lets them stay up as late as they want, watching movies and eating snacks. You can’t control what happens to them 100% of the time, as you could before.
Creating a parenting plan
One of the best things for divorcing parents to do is to work together to make a parenting plan. They can agree on more than just the schedule. They can set up rules that they’ll both follow and goals that are in their children’s best interests. Working together isn’t always easy, but it does put the children first.
If you are getting divorced, make sure you understand your legal rights as you work to set up the plans, schedules, rules and everything else. An experienced advocate can often be your best ally during this process.