Sharing the Rights and Responsibilities of Raising a Child After Divorce

A child's hands holding a hand of a parent outdoors

• A parenting plan that involves the child’s opinion and is legally reviewed is essential to share the rights and responsibilities after divorce.

• Communication between parents should be open and respectful while keeping the child’s best interests in mind before making any decisions. 

• Spend at least six hours of quality time to help children feel secure and build strong relationships. 

• Respect your former partner in the presence of your children and avoid negative comments. 

The decision to divorce can be painful, especially for parents who are trying to raise children. You may wonder how you can continue working together to raise your children despite separation. It is important to remember that divorce does not have to interfere with the rights and responsibilities of parenting. With this, here are some ways to share the rights and responsibilities of raising a child after divorce:

Creating a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan should include detailed information about where your child will live, how they will spend time with each parent, any decision-making authority that each parent has, and how communication between parents will occur. This plan must be reviewed regularly to be updated as your child’s needs change over time. Here are ways to effectively create a parenting plan:

Involve Your Child

One of the most important parts of creating a parenting plan is letting your child know what is going on with the divorce and asking for their input. Get your children’s opinion on what works for them, like when they want to spend time with each parent, and listen to what they have to say. From here, you can create a schedule that is mutually beneficial and agreeable to everyone.

Be Flexible

Be prepared to adjust the parenting plan for holidays or special occasions. This means you should be willing to compromise and make changes as needed. For instance, if one parent is out of town for an extended period, the other parent may need to adjust their parenting schedule accordingly. Make sure to have a plan in case you won’t be able to take care of your child.

Seek Professional Help

Since the parenting plan outlines the agreement between parents, it is wise to consult experienced family lawyers to ensure that all the legal implications are considered. A lawyer can help you create a parenting plan that includes child support, custody, and visitation rights. Drafting a parenting plan with a lawyer ensures that both parent’s rights and responsibilities are properly defined.

A smiling girl with parents in the background talking to a lawyer

Establishing Clear Boundaries

For ex-partners to successfully share the rights and responsibilities of raising a child after divorce, clear boundaries must be established. For example, ex-partners need to agree upon which parent will make decisions about medical care or education for their child. It is also important for both parents to agree on who will handle any financial obligations associated with childcare costs such as daycare or extracurricular activities. Here are ways how boundaries can help both parties:

Communicate Openly

Being separated does not mean that both parents can’t communicate openly. Set aside time to talk about your child and share any updates with one another. It is also important to establish a line of communication in case of emergencies or if any changes need to be made regarding the parenting plan.

Show Respect for Each Other

Both parents must show respect for each other in the presence of their child. This means avoiding any negative comments about your former partner, refraining from badmouthing them, and not competing with one another over who can give the most to the child. It is also important to be mindful of how you communicate with your ex-partner when you are both in the same room.

Keep Your Child as the Priority

A daughter going to school with her mother

Divorce is difficult for everyone, but it is especially hard on children. Remember to keep all your emotions in check and that your child’s needs come first. Put yourself in their shoes and try to think from an objective perspective when making parenting decisions. As parents, you should prioritize the following responsibilities:

  • Providing a safe and loving environment
  • Supporting your child’s emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing
  • Helping your child reach their full potential.

Additionally, be involved as much as possible in your child’s life and take an active interest in their activities. Children ages 6-18 need at least six hours of quality time with each parent per week. This will help them feel secure and build strong relationships with both parents.

Divorce should not interfere with the rights and responsibilities of raising a child. With the right approach, you can still share the rights and responsibilities of parenting even after separation. By understanding and following these suggestions, co-parenting can be successful and beneficial for everyone involved.

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