Parents going through a divorce experience intense emotion. Yet their children, stuck in the middle, require the same care and attention as before the separation.
Arizona provides the opportunity for cooperating parents to decide, before a court hearing, elements of visitation. The creation of a parenting plan, agreed to by both parents, allows a child to be given a plan for seeing individual spouses after a split. Preparing for the discussion and determination of visitation rights in court gives parents a unique way to determine how a child’s time will be spent — for the benefit to the entire family.
A parenting plan and visitation
Before a divorce hearing, Arizona requires some amicable couples to discuss and draft a plan for their children. In determining a parenting plan, multiple questions should be considered.
- How old is your child?
- What is your child’s personality?
- How strong is the relationship between you, your ex-spouse and your child?
- How close are the homes of you and your ex-spouse?
- How and where will exchanges occur?
- What are your child’s cultural and religious practices?
- What is your and your ex-spouse’s ability and availability to care for your child?
Each question determines the needs of your individual child and your divorce situation. Adopting a general plan for visitation does not prove adequate for each situation, so it proves important to realize the exact benefits a specific plan would have in terms of your child’s best interest.
Cooperation and beneficial tips for visitation
The key to drafting a successful parenting plan proves to be a collaborative relationship between parents. Though equal visitation time may not be possible or adequate for your child, a common understanding of your child’s best interest levels the playing field.
Some general tips for creating a positive parenting plan include:
- Keep predictable schedules. When parents divorce, children may be too young to understand. When parents implement strict, reliable schedules, the transition may prove less confusing, and children may have a better understanding of their new normal.
- Follow similar routines. To make the parenting plan fair, agree to set boundaries on meal time, bed time and time for homework or play. Children may be quick to compare when parents hold different lifestyles.
- Be on time. Respect your ex-spouses time with your child, and always arrive and leave on time.
A child’s life may change drastically upon the divorce of his or her parents. To ease the change, you should work cooperatively to develop a schedule that works for you, your ex-spouse, and most importantly, your child.