Co-parenting

Parenting Plan for Relocating with Children Post-Divorce

The most obvious aspect of your parenting plan that will need adjustment is the custody and visitation schedule. Chances are that the primary residence will remain the same, but the visitation schedule will not. A parent that may have had time with their child every weekend might now only see their child one weekend a month, but more during summer vacation. You will also need to take the travel time into consideration. Regardless of how your visitation schedule will need to be adjusted, it’s important to get all the details worked out before a move.

It’s no question that separation and divorce can be difficult for children. While it might actually create a better environment for them in certain circumstances, they don’t always understand that at the time.  Add in a geographic move of one of the parents into the mix, regardless of whether the child has to relocate as well, just creates another whole level of complexity.   

Create or Amend Your Parenting Plan to Reflect Your Living Situations  

If you are divorced or divorcing with a child or children, you will need or already have a parenting plan. This plan should contain everything about how both parents will cooperate in regards to raising their children, from how time will be shared to how expenses will be handled. If one parent plans to move a significant distance away after a parenting plan has been created and approved by the family court, it will need amended to reflect any changes.  

Here are some of the major points that need to be considered.   

Transportation is Important  

Most parenting plans have details about pick-up and drop-off times and locations. But, that gets much more complicated when long distances are involved. Long distance travel takes time. Anything involving a considerable amount of time needs to be looked at and potentially amended because it affects the time-share between parents.  Additionally, travel expenses can add up fast. Don’t forget to include in your new amended plan which parent will cover what expenses.  

You also need to put in clear text how the child will travel. Will they travel with a parent, and if so, which parent is responsible for that? Of, if their using public transportation, who will be responsible for making the travel arrangements?  

You can never be too detailed with all of this information.  

More Miles Doesn’t Mean Less Communication  

Your original parenting plan should include provisions about parental communication. That doesn’t change if one parent moves.  

You still need provisions and both parents still need to communicate. And, with all of the communication technology available today, that should not be a problem.  In fact, the distance makes communicating according the parenting plan even more important.  What might need amended though is how the child will communicate with the parent they do not live with. One example is that an amendment about video calls might be considered.  

Adjust Your Schedule   

The most obvious aspect of your parenting plan that will need adjustment is the custody and visitation schedule. Chances are that the primary residence will remain the same, but the visitation schedule will not. A parent that may have had time with their child every weekend might now only see their child one weekend a month, but more during summer vacation. You will also need to take the travel time into consideration.  

Regardless of how your visitation schedule will need to be adjusted, it’s important to get all the details worked out before a move.

In Summary

Any time one parent in a co-parenting environment makes a significant change in their living situation, both parents need to revisit their parenting plan and see if adjustments need to be made. These adjustments will need to continue to reflect what is best for all children involved. They will also need to be approved by the family court, so remember to use legal terminology and only edit what absolutely must be changed.

Tim Backes is the author of this article and senior editor for Custody X Change, a co-parenting custody scheduling software solution.

 

Supporting Children Through Divorce

We get caught up in the maelstrom of divorce and can fail to notice that our children are floundering. They appear okay on the surface going through the motions of life, but underneath may be in distress. Although divorce is an adult action, the fallout affects the youngsters.

Allow the children to vent and while you may not agree with everything said, releasing strong emotions is better than having them bottled up inside. Validate their feeling of frustration that through no fault of their own, major changes are occurring in their world. This may involve packing up their stuff for a move and beginning to split time between parents. Emphasize what is constant in their lives – same school, activities and friends. This helps kids to focus on having continuity rather than on what they cannot change.

Put animosity aside and put your kids first. Although this is easier said than done, your youngsters will do so much better in the long run. Try to be on the same page in regards to standard routines. Having consistent meal and bedtimes allows the kids to know what to expect and when. While kids can be surprisingly resilient, they still require some sort of foundation. You may have had general behavioral guidelines with consequences for infractions when you were married. Continuing to Implement these post-divorce is another method to help kids know what to expect. This lessons the chance that kids will test boundaries after divorce when co-parents handle conduct in similar ways.

Reach out to the extended family for help. One is overwhelmed and could use a short pause every now and then from day-to-day responsibilities. Your children will have fun with cousins and a break from the divorce environment. Some parents send their kids to camp or to a relative’s place while sorting out the divorce details. When your sanity is threatening to depart, ask friends to host a sleep over. Having a quiet night at home can do wonders for one’s psyche. When feeling calmer, reciprocate by having their kids sleep over at your house.

There is balance in life which includes making time for recreation.   Please read more   http://www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-to-support-your-children-during-divorce

What Children of Divorce Revealed to School Nurse

Parents’ divorces and dating lives have spilled over into their children’s schools. It does not matter who is right or who is wrong, when youngsters are drawn into adult matters. When parents are out for revenge, the kids are affected by the divorce drama. Parents seem to assume that their offspring have told classmates of the divorce. Many have not. Kids talk more in terms of activities – “I saw Star Wars with Dad” or “Mum took me ice skating” rather than “this is my week at Mum’s.” Classmates see those parents (sometimes separately) at school have no clue they are not still married. It can be awkward when one parent starts bringing a date when they drop by school.

Public displays of parental affection often are embarrassing to kids. It is more mortifying when Mum smooches her new beau at school and some are not aware she is divorced. Have a sense of decorum around the kid’s friends. One divorced mother happily announced at school that she was picking the kids up early so that they could accompany her and Tony for their weekend away in a nearby city. Her son cringed and looked at his shoes until they departed with his sister.

People will want to give you support during your divorce. They will inquire how things are with you. Either walk them outside of the school building before answering or say something vague. Your child may not be within ear shot, but their classmates are around. Kids are gossips and will tell your youngster what they overheard. Please do not trash talk the other parent in front of your child. This happens at school, but there is no way the staff is going to take sides in that battle. Our job is to be of support to the students.

Good communication between co-parents, school, and children is the key to making life smoother for the kids. Make it clear that you each want a copy of reports and advise the staff of your family situation.  I did a vision test on a young student who was going to need glasses. I gave her a written recommendation for follow up with an eye doctor. She asked which parent was to receive it. I quickly made another copy for her. She then told me that her parents were separating. This uncomfortable moment could have been avoided if the parents had given us an update. Another problem is when each parent assumes that the other one got needed items for a project. I had to call a divorced dad for a crying child who lacked something crucial for the science fair which was starting in one half hour. Do not assume that the co-parent got school supplies or specially needed materials.  Please read more   http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/school-children-of-divorce/