For parties with children going through a separation whether they are married or not in Massachusetts, there are many things to keep in mind when preparing a parenting plan for their children. Here are a few things to consider:
Be detail-oriented when preparing your parenting plan. Make sure you are specific about the dates, times, locations and arrangements for which parent will be providing transportation for all of the exchanges. Children handle things better if they are able to trust and rely on a specific and consistent plan. A specific plan can also help to avoid arguments between the parents.
The child's relationship with each parent and their siblings. If a parent has been out of their life for a long period of time, visits should start slowly and supervised until the child feels comfortable with that parent.
The child's age, developmental stage and any specific needs.The child's temperament and how they deal with change.
Parents' work schedules and where they reside.
Consider that the child will also want time with their friends and extended family members.
The location of your child's school, sports, hobbies, tutors, doctor and dentist. Who is going to be responsible for transporting the child to these events?
Make the child's schedule and transitions as consistent and smooth as possible. Avoid conflict at this already heightened time of anxiety.
Help your child keep their school work, sports equipment, etc. organized between transitions.
Allow the child to contact the other parent whenever they feel the desire. If there is a high level of conflict between the parents, a more detailed parenting plan can help.
Make sure that your child's safety and well-being is your top priority. If you have any concerns about child abuse, mental or emotional disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence, or anything else that could harm your child physically, emotionally, or mentally, seek professional help.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or paternity action contact the Law Office of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.