When a divorce happens, everyone in the family is affected. However, children are often the most at risk for long-term emotional problems and maladjustment. This is especially true when conflict continues after the divorce is complete. You can minimize the risk to your children by developing a well-planned, thoughtful, and intentional parenting plan that reduces conflict and encourages a healthy, lasting relationship with the other parent. Of course, this is often easier said than done. To help you get started, here are some of the most commonly used parenting plan structures.
Traditional Co-Parenting Plans
Most parents are familiar with the traditional co-parenting plan. It is one in which the allocation of parental responsibilities follows a predictable schedule, and both parents have equal (or close to equal) decision-making power. Of course, this can look very different from one family to the next. Whereas one family might switch off time with their child on a weekly basis, others might alternate holidays and weekends. Some may even switch off a couple of times throughout the week. This parenting plan is often most beneficial for parents who can communicate effectively.
Birdnesting Parenting Plans
Birdnesting is a fairly new concept that has gained a lot of traction with those going through an amicable divorce. Typically, children stay in the family home and then parents alternate staying there with them. Some families even continue to have meals together. The idea is to minimize the impact that divorce has on the children by having the parents live in a sort of limbo. Some use it as a transition to a more traditional parenting plan while others use it as a long-term or permanent plan. The ability to get along and still see each other on a regular basis is an absolute must for this parenting plan.
On the opposite side of birdnesting, you have parallel parenting. Most often used by high conflict families that continue to struggle with communication during and after the divorce, this parenting plan minimizes contact between the parents. The idea is to limit conflict while still ensuring that the child has a healthy, continued relationship with both parents. A great deal of effort must go into making this plan work since, usually, communication is key to raising a child.
Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help With Your Parenting Plan
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we recognize that every family is unique. To respond your family's specific needs, our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys provide attentive, personalized representation. Get skilled legal assistance with your family’s parenting plan. Call 630-932-9100 to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.
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