Parents who are in the midst of a divorce or ending their relationship want to make sure that they are able to maximize the amount of time they can spend with their kids. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a parenting time case to become extremely emotional, which can make it very difficult to focus on the important decisions that need to be made at this time.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to be sure that you are taking the right steps to get an agreement that is right for your children. Keeping their best interests in mind can be a real challenge when the other parent is making your life much more difficult, but here are some of the things you can do to help you create a lasting parenting time plan.
1. Keep an open mind about your case
You might want to do everything you can to get as much time with your child as possible. However, your co-parent will likely have the same objective. When both sides are going after the same thing, it can greatly increase the conflict in the case. Think about the long-term impact of the agreement you are striving to create. You need to work with your former spouse or partner long after this case is over. For the sake of your kids, you and your co-parent will both have to take steps toward finding common ground.
2. Keep your kids as your main focus
Children so often are stuck in the middle in these cases. One of the parents may try to use the kids against the other. You cannot let yourself fall into a similar trap. If your co-parent is doing something that is preventing you from being able to see your kids under the agreement you have created, tell your attorney. You can reduce the conflict that arises in these situations, allowing your kids to get the most out of their time with each parent.
3. Think about the decisions you are making
You are going to have to make tough choices at many times throughout your child custody case. When you are working with the other side, make sure you understand what you are being asked, and what you are asking for. When you make a choice about a matter related to parenting time, know that when the agreement is official, it is very difficult to change. You and your children will have to live with the agreement. Be sure to ask your attorney about any questions that you may have, and what options are available to you to best accomplish your goals.
4. Get comfortable with the process before you go to court
If your case is going to trial, take some time to ask questions about what happens in court. Your attorney can explain what things are like, so you have a better idea about the process and the items that will be discussed. It is okay to be nervous about your case, but if you take a few moments to prepare yourself for the trial or hearing, you can stay focused on the important issues that need to be addressed.
These are some tips that can help you with your parenting time case. It is extremely important that you and your co-parent create an agreement that provides your children with the best opportunities to spend time with each parent.