Tips for Avoiding Parenting Disputes After Your Divorce
For parents with minor children, getting a divorce will bring an end to your marriage, but it typically will not bring an absolute end to your relationship. You and your former spouse will still need to deal with one another with regard to issues affecting your children, and you will need to be able to work together in order to make a variety of decisions with your children’s best interests in mind.
To avoid parenting disputes after getting divorce (or at least minimize animosity when disputes arise), many parents find it useful to develop a comprehensive parenting plan as part of the divorce process. A parenting plan establishes both parents’ rights with regard to custody and visitation, and also establishes rules and guidelines for the parents and the children.
Common Parenting Plan Provisions Designed to Prevent Post-Divorce Disputes
If you and your spouse are able to work together to finalize the terms of your divorce (including using mediation or collaborative law if necessary), jointly developing a parenting plan may be a good option. As you start thinking about your parenting plan, here are some of the types of issues you will likely want to consider:
1. Pickups, Drop Offs and Transportation
Following a divorce, having a consistent routine can help children adjust to their new life. Planning your transportation schedule in advance is an easy way to avoid menial disputes with your former spouse as well, and it will help ensure that you and your children know what to expect before and after daycare, school and/or extracurricular activities.
2. Rules and Restrictions
Another way to provide consistency is to ensure that you and your former spouse enforce the same rules and restrictions at your respective homes. When is curfew? When can your children use their phones (if they have them)? How much television can they watch each day? When and where can they drive with friends? This is just a small sampling of the types of questions you can address in your parenting plan.
3. Regular and Emergency Medical Care
Which parent will schedule your children’s regular doctor’s and dentist’s appointments? How will you communicate and make decisions if one of your children needs emergency medical care? Dealing with medical emergencies is stressful under the best of circumstances, and these are situations when it is best to avoid any unnecessary animosity or uncertainty.
4. Future Child-Related Decision-Making
As your children grow, you and your former spouse may need to make some difficult decisions. How will you respond if your child wants to get a piercing or tattoo? When should your children be allowed to start driving? What if they want to join the military or stop going to church? What if they need tutoring or want to go to a private school that stretches (or perhaps exceeds) your budget? The more effort you and your spouse put into addressing these types of questions during your divorce, the less you will need to struggle with them down the road.
Contact Dallas Divorce Attorney Michael Granata Today
If you live in Dallas, Texas and are preparing to go through a divorce, you can contact Michael P. Granata for a free and confidential consultation. To speak with a skilled Dallas divorce lawyer about additional considerations for developing a parenting plan, please contact us online today.