What Do Divorced Parents Do When They Aren’t Parenting?
Raising children is an exhausting job, whether you are home with a baby all day every day or whether your kids’ school day ends around the same time as your workday. Every time you clean up one mess, two more arise in its place; it is like playing whack-a-mole, except instead of plastic moles, you are contending with Legos, Pokemon cards, and drink containers such as juice boxes and sippy cups that have an uncanny talent for voiding their contents despite being designed not to. Kids make noise constantly, except when they are asleep; once they learn to talk, it is a constant litany of grievances punctuated by innocent observations that would be delightful to hear if you weren’t so exhausted. A few minutes of peace and quiet starts to feel like the world’s greatest luxury. The only thing worse than full-time kid chaos is part-time kid chaos, when your kids are away from you for days, or even weeks, at a time during your ex-spouse’s parenting time. A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you develop a parenting plan that makes it so that the moment when your children will next walk through your door is never far away.
My Kingdom for a Baby Shark
Wouldn’t you love to have two days off from parenting per week, just like you have two days off from work? Be careful what you wish for. When the parents of minor children get divorced, the court must issue a parenting plan indicating which parent is with the children on which days. Most couples are able to agree on the terms of their parenting plans during mediation; judges only build parenting plans out of whole cloth in the most contentious divorces. Most school-aged children and teens spend every school night with the same parent, while spending weekends with the other parent. For younger children, parenting plans vary considerably from one family to the next.
The good news is that, by court order, you must spend X days per year with your children. The bad news is that you must spend (365-X) days per year without them. You can do the things you used to do before you had kids, but working the night shift, playing video games, going clubbing, and all those other young adult activities are no longer fun once you have heard a child who is rambunctious in the daytime take a deep breath in his sleep.
It Isn’t Your Ex-Spouse’s Business What You Do When You Aren’t Parenting
The good news is that it is not your ex-spouse’s business what you do when your kids aren’t with you. The bad news is that, for the most part, it isn’t your business what your ex-spouse does during that time. Constantly badgering your ex and slinging accusations every time the kids come to you with the sniffles, a Band-Aid, or a bad mood is a recipe for unhappiness for everyone involved. You can fill your non-parenting time with work, socializing, or solitude, but don’t spend it fixating on your ex-spouse, not unless you want to wind up back in court.
Contact Schwartz | White About Living With Your Parenting Plan
A South Florida family law attorney can help you make peace with co-parenting. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.