When you are in the middle of divorce, leaving your children behind and moving out can be one of the most heart-wrenching things you can experience as a dad. If a couple is able to work out a parenting plan in consultation with each other and according to their individual work schedules, it is beneficial to the children. The children will also be reassured that while the parents are getting divorced, their relationship with both the parents will remain unchanged, except physically. This kind of security is very crucial for the emotional health of children in general and young children in particular.
Many family courts encourage parents undergoing divorce to work out a parenting plan on their own, considering their children’s unique needs. There are many details to be considered like: their school schedule, who picks them up and drops them off, coached classes like music, dance and chess or sports practice like baseball, soccer or softball, and who takes them to those classes, etc. If the parents are able to split up such tasks without acrimony, then the children will benefit immensely as they get to spend regular one-on-one time with both parents. These kinds of details, including who takes the children to doctor’s visits should be ironed out while formulating a parenting plan.
A good parenting plan can go a long way towards smoothing the tough road ahead after divorce. When the parents have worked out a proper plan to share joint custody, it takes the guess work out of the equation; this gives children a sense of security, as they are assured that their parents still care for their needs. This, in turn makes them confident people, who have the security of knowing that any concerns they have will be addressed by both the parents, and that they are not being used as bargaining chips between them. The psychological and emotional scarring that young children undergo when their parents divorce can be avoided when the parents sit down and work out an effective parenting plan.
An effective parenting plan discusses in detail various scenarios and the best way to handle those scenarios for the kids’ benefit, like holidays, school terms, when school is in recess, special occasions, medical visits, access to extended families of both parents and other special care needs. This makes for less stress and anxiety; the children know what they can expect at different times of the year and so they too are spared any anxiety or insecurity. The need to reassure your children that they remain your number one priority even after divorce cannot be over-stated. One of the best ways of reassuring them of that is to work out a proper plan for sharing of joint custody, however difficult it might be for you emotionally, as parents.
Having their Dad available for any talks or emotional guidance can be essential whatever the age and sex of the child; it is also your inalienable right as a father. A well-formulated plan will give you room for being available for your children as and when they need you. As parents, your duty is to place your children’s emotional health before your own hurt feelings and handle the divorce process with maturity and equanimity, without bad-mouthing the other parent in your children’s hearing.
At Kenny Leigh & Associates, we are cognizant of the fact that men usually pay a higher price during the divorce process, as traditionally the courts favor the woman, especially when young children are involved. We strive to address this imbalance and only represent men in divorce cases. Call one of our offices today to schedule your consultation – Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Boca Raton, Fleming Island and Gainesville.
By Kenny Leigh