Preparation of Parenting Plan Mediation Part Four
Recently we have been blogging about “stock” parenting time rotations and decision-making practices. Parenting time variants should be created based on your family’s particular needs. For example, one parent may travel for work and cannot care for the children, or the parents do not live geographically close to each other. Even if both parents reside in the Denver Metropolitan area there may be significant transportation hurdles to overcome to exchange the children. We can help create a plan that works for everyone, especially the children.
Typically the receiving parent is the one that picks up the child at the custodial parent’s residence. There may be an alternate neutral location agreed on because of domestic violence or extra conflict. The best choices for a neutral location could be McDonald’s, a local mall or Starbucks. We do not suggest a police station. It may leave a poor impression on your children.
Legally, to statute, both parents have access to the records of the child(ren) including school, medical, dental and mental health records (pursuant to §14-10-123.8, C.R.S).
Outside of any protection orders parents are to talk to each other when a future move is probable. Many tell the non-moving parent during the move or after. Not communicating about the impending move may increase conflict in the future.
Not communicating early and often about the children may cause a surprise for the parent receiving the information, though no harm was intended.
If there is an emergent medical situation it is permissible for the custodial parent to stabilize the situation then contact the other parent.
Reducing conflict is incredibly important to the well-being of your children. Conversing with each other is a part of parenting. From our perspective, you are both managing your children to become whole, healthy and happy adults. Doing this in two separate households in the future may seem daunting.
During the relationship, there was a division of responsibilities in the one household. Now that there are two households the division gets tricky. Depending on your particular situation there may have been one primary caretaker of the children, while the other parent did other things related to the household. There might be resentment from both sides for what was done during the relationship. One parent did less with the children, the other did more or one parent made the majority of the income. The most important part is to remember your children need you equally.
Transitions are difficult for the parents initially. They are way more difficult for children. The younger they are the more discomfort they may exhibit. Crying, anger, sadness, saying they love the other parent more during the transitions, the list goes on. It is crucial to understand these behaviors that they are exhibiting usually do not mean they love the other parent less or you more.
This is difficult. Young children have trouble identifying their emotions, not to mention why they are experiencing them. It is important not to assume that their behaviors and emotions are a result of the actions of the other parent. Asking open-ended questions about how the child is feeling, instead of pointed questions leading the child to an inaccurate answer may be more fruitful for everyone.
Being a soft place for your children to fall when they are with you is critically important to their emotional well-being.