How To Make Changeovers Painless For Kids And Co-Parents
Things are fine when the kids are at Mom’s house and equally fine when they are at Dad’s house, but going from one parent’s house to the other is a constant source of stress. Dad is always late picking up the kids from Mom’s house. Mom is always mad if Son leaves his bowling shoes at Dad’s house. One time she even called Dad and insisted that Stepmom meet her at a Walmart located midway between the two parents’ houses; Stepmom brought the shoes, but by that time, everyone was in such a bad mood that it was hard to enjoy bowling with Mom that weekend or mini golf with Dad the following weekend. The little things can make co-parenting a lot easier or a lot more stressful. For help drafting a parenting plan that proposes solutions in the event of all the little glitches that are an inevitable part of life, contact a Boca Raton child custody lawyer.
Write a Parenting Plan and Stick to It
Every divorce case that involves minor children involves a parenting plan, which is an official court order about how much time and how much decision-making power each parent gets with the children, in other words, all the non-financial aspects of co-parenting. Most parenting plans in Florida are multiple pages long. Your parenting plan does not just say that the kids will be with Mom on weekdays and Dad on weekends; it also accounts for transportation obligations. If the kids go to Dad’s house on Friday evenings, the parents do not have to hash it out each week over how the kids will get to Dad’s house that Friday. The parenting plan might say that Mom must drop them off at 7:00, that Dad must pick them up from Mom’s house, or that Dad must pick them up from school. Occasional emergency changes of plans are inevitable, but the sooner you make alternative plans the better. Kids react better to finding out on Wednesday that their uncle will pick them up from school on Friday and drive them to Dad’s house than they do to Mom and Dad arguing on Friday evening about whose responsibility it is to transport the kids this week.
Overnight Bags Are for Travel, Not for Home
It might seem like a minor detail, but making your kids pack an overnight bag every time they go from one parent’s house to another can be a source of stress for everyone. Both houses are the children’s home, so why pack to go there as if you were traveling? The cost of buying one pair of bowling shoes for each house is worth the hassle you will save by having to make sure that the child packs all his items every week to go to the other parent’s house.
Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting With the Resources You Have
A South Florida family law attorney can help you avoid co-parenting conflicts by drafting a carefully considered parenting plan. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.