How to Develop an Effective Parenting Plan After a Michigan Divorce
In the wake of a divorce, parents have a tough road ahead, one that involves not only separating one household into two, but also setting aside any personal issues they may have with each other, in order to effectively parent their children from two separate households. This can be difficult in a variety of ways.
First, parents must abide by rulings regarding child custody, and this typically involves creating a schedule for parenting time or visitation. In addition, however, ex-spouses must create a parenting plan that puts them on the same page in regards to how children will be raised.
If your thinking was already aligned with your spouse’s in every way, this should be no problem. However, it’s not unusual for parents to have very different ideas about how kids should be raised. If there are issues you can’t agree on, how can you develop an effective parenting plan? Here are a few things to consider.
The Michigan Parenting Time Guideline
If you don’t really know where to start when it comes to developing a parenting plan, the Michigan Parenting Time Guideline can help. This resource is ostensibly designed to help you work out the details of shared parenting time per the custodial arrangement, but it can also give you clues as to how to get started with your parenting plan.
The General Provisions section covers topics like managing transportation, successful child exchanges, sharing medical responsibilities, ensuring safety, and so on. Also discussed is properly preparing children for time with the other parent.
This includes encouraging children to have successful and loving relationships with both parents and avoiding causing anxiety. It establishes invalid reasons for denying agreed-upon parenting time, including issues like missed child support payments, religious reasons, or children not wanting to go.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interests of your children, regardless of your feelings toward your ex-spouse. This means parents need to cooperate and coordinate in a variety of ways to ensure that the custodial agreement is followed, that children are made to feel comfortable and secure, and that parents are on the same page when it comes to co-parenting their kids.
Put Your Kids First
If you want to create an effective parenting plan, it begins with putting the needs of your children ahead of your own. It starts with an agreement between you and your ex-spouse that you will set aside any differences you may have, and that you both want your children to be healthy and happy. If you can agree on these fundamental principles, it will pave the way to working on a cooperative and effective co-parenting plan.
Prepare to Compromise
Perhaps the most difficult part of co-parenting is coming to a consensus on how to raise children when opinions differ, on matters large and small. For example, you may think it’s perfectly fine for kids to have cell phones by middle school, while your ex-spouse feels they shouldn’t have phones until high school. You might want to raise kids in the Jewish faith, while your spouse wants to raise them under Christian faith.
There are sure to be disagreements, but if you’re doing your job as a parent and trying to co-parent effectively, you’ll seek ways to compromise so that children gain the benefits of consistent parenting and enjoy the security and stability they deserve.
If you’re struggling to abide by a custody arrangement or come up with a fair and effective parenting plan, the experienced lawyers at The Gucciardo Law Firm can help. Contact us today at 248-723-5190 or online to get started
Too much information?
We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.