If divorce is in the wind, you are probably beginning to wonder how the family breakup will affect your children. It is an important issue, and you want to be prepared.
Raising your children in a post-divorce world will require a good parenting plan, but when problems pop up, do not be discouraged. Remember that there is a learning curve to the job of co-parenting.
The first order of business is to develop a plan, a paper outline of responsibilities so you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can refer to it. Parenting plans have been a requirement in the state of Texas since 2005. The purpose is to establish the duties and rights of the parents and to foster a close relationship with the children.
You have work schedules. The children have school and activity schedules. These will form the foundation concerning who will be responsible for what child at what time. You will also want to make schedules that will allow the children to fall into a routine. It will help them to know, for example, what time dinner will be each night, what time they will need to do their homework and what time one of you will pick them up to go to the movies.
Closely associated with scheduling is the subject of transportation. You will need to decide who will be responsible for taking one child or another to school, to medical and dental appointments, to soccer practice, to and from a sleepover with friends and much more. An important transportation component is the dropping-off and picking-up responsibilities associated with scheduled visitation time at the home of each parent.
An attorney experienced with family law and child custody issues will emphasize the importance of ongoing communication between you and the other parent. If you enter into a contentious divorce, both of you must try to put the anger behind you so you can communicate on matters important to your children. Engaging in civil communication is going to be part of the co-parenting learning curve.