When couples with children decide to divorce, they’re often challenged by their new post-divorce relationship. And if the relationship ends contentiously, forming a workable parenting plan can prove difficult.
For these parents, it’s easy to forget that the ultimate objective should be to provide kids with an easy transition to their new lives while allowing the child to grow with guidance and support from both parents. With a few simple steps, these parents can bridge their differences and start living a normal life again. It’s important to note that family law lexicon is constantly changing, and for good reason. States like California and Colorado no longer use terms like “alimony” or “custody”, because these terms often possess negative connotations like ownership.
Instead, Colorado and California courts and legislature encourage the legal industry and families to use words like spousal maintenance instead of alimony and parental responsibility and decision making instead of custody. At the very least, you’ll need to know this new terminology to better understand what’s happening in your court proceedings.
An equally shared parenting plan consists of 182.5 days a year with each parent. This is what people often refer to as a 50/50 parenting plan. Both parents under this plan share equal parenting time with regard to their children. Consider the following examples:
Equal parenting schedules don’t have to be rigid. Parents can create some really elaborate scheduling that helps everyone to enjoy needed flexibility. No matter which option is chosen, it’s really important for the parent to have clothing and personal effects at each home so the child feels like they are welcome.
When it comes to children, most courts don’t inherently prefer one parent over the other (or one gender over the other for that matter). instead, judges attempt to provide rulings that reflect the best interests of the children. In some instances, such as those that involve domestic abuse, sexual assault, or a felony conviction, an unequal decision-making responsibility will be awarded.
Parenting plans that are flexible generally work the best, but your lifestyle will influence which type of plan you’ll ultimately use. One of the parents may have a more hectic schedule, so a perfect 50/50 split may not be achievable.
Additionally, some plans work better with kids of different ages. For example, plans where one parent has visitation privileges four nights out of the month called 4/28 plans, are usually considered unhealthy for kids under five years of age. Children in this age range need to see each parent equally throughout the month, so the 50/50 split may better suit this age range.
The web has made shared parenting so much easier. Parents can strategize and collaborate with easy to use web and mobile applications. They can also document important dates and share personal photos through these portals.
Following are some of the more popular apps and websites which provide online collaborative parent schedules:
This site makes it easy for parents to manage their busy schedules through an online platform or a mobile app. It also includes the ability to manage your budget and medical information. It also allows you to share photos through a web album. The cost is only $9.99 a month. Visit: https://www.2houses.com
Our Family Wizard App
This app makes it easy for parents to manage their shared parenting responsibilities through an app. Started in 2011, this app allows for the creation of custody schedules, sharing of important information, and secure messaging. Unfortunately, their app didn’t get great reviews on Amazon. The cost is $99 per year. https://www.ourfamilywizard.com
Custody Junction provides scheduling, tracking, and reporting options for parents. http://www.custodyjunction.com
As a friendly reminder, consistency is key. All of the benefits from a 50/50 co-parenting relationship are just nice sentiments until both parties participate consistently. It can be difficult, but the things worth fighting for aren’t always easy. Finding a way to co-parent as evenly as possible will exponentially benefit the child. Working beyond the resentment, conflict, and stress in the adult relationship will help provide an environment in the best interest of the child. Through an amicable relationship, parents are able to provide their child with:
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