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Custody 101: How to Create the Best Parenting Plan during a divorce

Are you in the middle of a divorce? Do you have children? Are you wondering whether you’ll ever be able to move forward with your life? You aren’t alone. Each year, parents wonder how they’re going to help their children cope with their divorce. Parents want to know how they can create a sense of normalcy for their children. They also want to know how they’re going to be able to co-parent with an ex-partner. No matter how long you and your spouse were a couple, it’s important to set aside your differences long enough to create a healthy and reasonable parenting plan that can help you as you move forward with your lives. Here’s what you need to know.

First off, communicate regularly. When you have kids together, you can’t avoid each other. It’s important that you talk about ways you can help your children. Discuss what’s going on in your children’s lives and talk about the things that your kids want. If a child is having a hard time with math, for example, talk about ways you can support your child.

It’s also important that you avoid trash talking the other person when they aren’t around. Agree to avoid discussing the specific details of your divorce with your kids. Your children don’t need to know if one parent cheated or if one person made terrible choices during the course of your relationship. What they need to know is that you both still love them, so focus on that.

Consider creating a family group calendar you can both use and add important events to. For example, share a cloud-based calendar system that allows you to detail when your kids have basketball games, dental appointments, or dance recitals. Using a shared calendar can help ensure that you both know and agree to your children’s schedules. You can also detail when each parent has physical custody of the children.

Talk with your kids about their desires and needs during this time. Do your kids have a preference as to where they live? Are they nervous about living with one parent over the other? Talk with your kids and ask them what they want. Then truly listen to their answers. You and your partner need to work together to help create a custody and parenting plan that will benefit your kids, so don’t be afraid to change your expectations and your plans in order to help your kids.

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to an attorney if you need help. While parents may create parenting plans on their own, sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra help. Your attorney can help you and your former partner to create an effective parenting plan that can benefit each member of your family.

When you’re going through a divorce, it’s easy to feel discouraged of overwhelmed. Try to remember that you are not the first person to go through a divorce, and you certainly won’t be the last. Focus on your kids and the things that are best for them, and you’ll find that creating a parenting plan is easier than you think.

Even with the most amicable divorce, you still need to ensure that the rights to your children and property are protected. If you are facing divorce in Louisiana and want to approach it in the most amicable way, but still ensure your rights are protected, we invite you to schedule a consultation with attorney Betsy A. Fischer. Call 504-780-8232 or contact the law offices in Metairie, Louisiana, by email.

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