One goal of co-parenting is to provide children with the stability and resources they require to lead happy and healthy lives. Yet, some separating parents become so consumed with their personal needs and feelings that they completely overlook their kids. Fortunately, the law does not strip away parental rights or obligations unless there is just cause or danger to the children. Instead, the courts encourage divorcing parents to work together to make parenting plans that ensure they meet their children’s needs.
Developing a parenting plan that benefits all parties is not without its challenges. However, the following pointers can make it much easier to create a parenting plan that benefits the entire family.
The needs of the minors
Parents should carefully evaluate their children’s emotional, physical, social, and parental needs. Young children may require more effort and commitment from their parents than older siblings. Children needs vary according to their age.
Children’s input and preferences
The courts may consider the input of children in custody and parenting time decisions. Minors traditionally do not have any say in child custody, divorce and parenting matters. However, depending on the age of the children and the circumstances, the judge may take their input and use it to establish formal parenting time guidelines to ensure they receive equal care and commitment from both parents.
Though child custody hearings are to preserve the interests of the children, parents still have the right to influence the final agreement. By working together towards a mutual goal (their children’s well-being), parents can create child custody and parenting time agreements that minimize the negative impact of divorce for an easier transition.