Going through divorce may have had you feeling many mixed emotions. You may have felt relieved that you would no longer have to stay in an unhappy marriage, but you may also have felt troubled about the effects it would have on your kids. Still, you knew it would work out for the best in the end.
Because you know the importance of your children having strong relationships with both you and the other parent, you knew that joint custody was the option with which you felt most comfortable. Still, you have the task of trying to come up with a parenting plan and schedule to make the arrangement work as best as possible. That is, unless you want the court to decide.
Tactics to avoid
When trying to make this plan outside the courtroom, you and the other parent will have to work together. Even though you wanted joint custody, you may still have a bit of trouble coming to terms with the other parent due to disagreements. In efforts to make your plan the best it could be, you may want to avoid the following tactics:
- Planning for convenience: You may be tempted to create a plan that makes the situation easier for you. However, what seems easy for you may not work in the best interests of your children.
- Giving yourself the most responsibility: Like many parents, you may feel that no one could care for the kids better than you, even the other parent. However, sharing the responsibilities with your ex could give him or her opportunities to become a better parent and bond with the children.
- Using the plan as a revenge tool: While you want your kids to still see your ex regularly, you may have some sense of animosity toward him or her depending on what ended the relationship. It may seem like the parenting plan could help you seek revenge by making the situation more difficult on the other parent, but that could harm everyone involved.
Putting forth the effort to make the best parenting plan possible outside of court could help you save time and money, so avoiding these and other actions may put you on the right track. Plus, you may want to remember that the court will still have to approve your plan in the end.
Of course, you may still want to seek the guidance of an attorney while creating your parenting plan. Legal counsel could provide you with tips on what arrangements may work best for your situation and what you can do in the event that your ex does not want to work together to create the plan.