One of the challenges that families face to day is having to create ways on how both parents can spend the best quality time with their children. Parenting kids raised in two different households as a result of separation or divorce can be quite a trial. It’s already difficult to try to raise children in a two-parent home, but when the parents divorce and end up having two separate households, it becomes even more difficult for everyone in the family. This is because there are schedule conflicts as well as the need to avoid conflict and misunderstandings. This is where a parenting plan can help.

It’s important for kids to spend time with both the father and mother in order to have as normal an environment as possible. A parenting plan allows the family to coordinate the schedule, includeimportant dates, and allows the kids to have equal time with both parents. By writing things in a calendar that everyone can see, the kids can have enough visitation time with both parents. There are many benefits to using a calendar plan. Here are some of the reasons why it may work for your family.

It gives the schedule

A schedule in a parenting plan provides the much needed structure for both the children and parents to go about their lives. The terms of custody are laid out in a given calendar. Even the summer holiday, weekdays, weekends, special breaks, school breaks and other days of the year and even the hour of pick up and return is stated. This allows both parties to make long term and short term plans with their children. This can be created with the help of attorney or mediator if the situation becomes too volatile or if the parents cannot come together for an agreement.

When it is written down, the visual plan helps cement for the children the schedule and it doesn’t allow for any confusion or misunderstanding that can be a source of conflict for the parents. It’s not always very easy to do but it’s important that children shall have with them the knowledge that there is some order in their lives. A parenting plan can help in this aspect.

Lets children know what to expect

Structure and routine are very important for children to be able to achieve some sense of normalcy. When a parenting plan is made, there’s no need to second guess where they will be on specific days of the year since they have an exact picture of what to expect. On the calendar, everyone can see where the children will spend time. This will also allow them to create a schedule that works for them and help them prepare, such as signing up for extra curricular activities. At the same time, this allows parents to plan their own activities, such as a date night while the children are away.

Allows for open dialogue

A parenting plan is a good way to show that their father and mother can find a way to negotiate and discuss custodywithout it being a source of conflict. If they can’t come up with a plan on their own, there is help available from an attorney, mediator or family counselor. If the parents are able to agree and negotiate on their own, they can save on attorney fees.  What is important is that both parents place the children’s interests first.

Also, it’s a good way to show who isn’t following the rules or meeting their obligation. While it’s not healthy to bad mouth your former spouse, the children will eventually learn that not following the rules does have consequences. At the same time, it allows children to have a say in how their time is spent. If there’s a proposed change on the parenting plan, it can easily be discussed so that an agreement can be made. It is possible to makes a change during an open dialogue. If there’s a significant change that needs to be done, it can be discussed during renegotiations.

Diffuses tension

By establishing a parenting plan and a workable custody schedule, problems and conflicts can be avoided. This is because things are preset so there’s no confusion between the parents and the children where the kids go. This type of plan already covers visitation days and states who has custody of the children during given days, week or month. It reduces the need for troubled parents to interact so that there is less tension. It also helps the children adjust better since there are fewer arguments between mom and dad. The children are spared from having to act as mediators for their parents. Having everything discussed right at the onset and sticking to the plan will help everyone move on in a healthier and more peaceful manner after the divorce.

Shows the children both parents are equally important

One of the valuable lessons that a parenting plan teaches is the value of being fair and that spending time with mom is just as important as spending time with dad. It also shows that both parents deserve to spend time with their children so that each parent can provide the care and attention needed in their own way. The rules of each household should be obeyed and respected. Scheduled parenting time must be followed as much as possible.

When making the parenting plan, there must be guidelines that specify how to make changes on the schedule if needed.  Even how the exchanges take place can be laid out. It’s also a good idea to enforce some rules and sanctions in the event that one parent doesn’t fulfill his obligation, such as not giving ample child support or derailing from the established schedule. As long as the parents place the interests of the children ahead of their own personal agenda, they should be able to come together to find some common ground. These are just some benefits on why many experts agree that a good parenting plan will help a couple continue to raise their children in a positive and nurturing environment, even if they don’t live in the same house anymore.

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