Am I doing everything I can to create a positive co-parenting environment that allows our children to have maximum access to and support from each parent? Creating a viable shared parenting arrangement requires a lot of patience and turning the other cheek. My children will benefit, and over the long run, it will help keep our divorce a productive experience.
Do the living arrangements, decision making plan, and actual schedule fit with who my children are at the present time? Gearing the schedule to the age and developmental needs of each child helps ensure its effectiveness.
Is the parenting plan specific enough to cover most likely situations at present and in the near future? Do we have a back up plan for resolving differences that will inevitably arise? Specificity helps maintain predictability and keep boundaries straight. Our plan supports our separateness without seeming burdensome. It leaves space to offer and ask for flexibility as needs arise. Click here for more resources.
Am I doing my part to maintain the plan and ensure its effectiveness for my children and all involved? Am I letting negative emotional responses leftover from the marriage interfere with implementation? If we each do our best to make this work, it will work out well.
Are our child support payments determined accurately and with fairness? Child support can be financially burdensome, but it benefits my children. I still wish to provide for them in the best way I can. That is one way I can protect them from negative impacts of divorce. Click here for a host of information about children and divorce.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/.
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