Four Tips for Creating a Great Parenting Plan During a Divorce The Docket June 20, 2019 Family law Article Provided By Tessmer Law Firm Divorce is often a messy affair. As you and your partner battle over who gets what, it is important to place your child’s interest above everything else. They should be protected from an unhealthy environment and be kept away from the legal battle. After the divorce is finalized, stability and continuity will help the child overcome the stress of the separation. Here are four tips to create an effective parenting plan that will help your child cope. Be Flexible with Visitation A child needs both parents. Having both parents in a child’s life will help them with transitioning to life after the divorce. Develop a plan with your ex-spouse to create a fair visitation schedule that takes into account your lives and the needs of your child. Both parents need to respect the custody agreement and visitation schedule after the divorce is finalized. Consider Your Child’s Needs Rather than worry too much about who will spend more time with the child, try and ask them what they would like to do. They may prefer staying in the same school rather than moving to a new one or living in the same neighborhood to remain in touch with their friends. Try to keep a stable daily routine so your child can focus on their studies and reduce any anxiety they may have about the divorce. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide where they will go to school and the neighborhood they will live in. Start Early The earlier you and your former spouse can create a plan, the better it is for your child. Doing so will allow the child to know where they will be spending the summer, holidays, weekends, and other key moments throughout the year without any unnecessary worrying or wondering. By creating a plan as quickly as possible, you make it easier for the child to get used to their new way of living. Establish a Form of Communication Even if the divorce has been a bitter experience, you and your ex-spouse need to maintain a channel of communication. If face-to-face or phone calls do not work, use text messages or emails as a way to communicate. Texts and emails also create a paper trail of documentation that you can refer to if there are issues later on with creating a parenting plan or if you need to look at specific details of a conversation. Conclusion Even though you are separating from your spouse, it is important to keep emotions down and work with them to finalize the details of the divorce. One of the most important aspects of a divorce is to make sure that your child is still in a safe, loving environment. Creating a parenting plan with your child’s best interests in mind helps to minimize the disturbance to your child’s life and gives them the best possible chance of making a smooth transition into post-divorce life.