For separating or divorcing parents in North Dakota, dividing parenting time can be one of the hardest parts of the end of their relationship. Both parents may still want a strong relationship with the children, which can lead to conflicts as they push to spend as much time with their children as possible.
Glossing over those big decisions when negotiating a parenting plan won’t help either, as it will simply mean that the two of you will likely get into arguments when special circumstances arise. You need to determine now the way to approach parenting together and how to act in your children’s best interests.
By identifying and addressing concerns that will complicate your custody arrangements, you can reduce the number of disagreements you have in the future.
Birthdays and holidays
Maybe you have an upcoming tenth birthday for one of your children or look forward to Halloween celebrations with your children every year. Special events are often the starting point the lifelong memories.
Of course you want to spend every birthday and holiday that you can together with your children. You may be able to be present if you and your ex can agree that sharing those special days would work for your family. Otherwise, you need to decide soon the right way to split those special events so that your conflicts don’t detract from the children’s joy.
School events and sports
Whether there is a recorder recital at the end of third grade or basketball games for your high school student, there will be extracurricular activities that are important to your children. They will generally want you present at those special activities at least some of the time.
You might need to alternate attendance or work out a plan for attending together while keeping the focus on your child to show a united front of support. At big, once-in-a-lifetime events, like high school graduation, you will generally need to plan to include everyone.
Lengthy disciplinary or medical issues
Although it is a problem that only a few families will experience, there may come a time when one of the children requires extensive one-on-one support. For example, they might become ill and need a parent to stay home to take care of them.
On the other hand, disciplinary issues among children whose parents divorce are common. You might have to deal with youthful rebelliousness that leads to a school suspension. It is smart for parents to plan ahead of time how they will address a scenario where the children have an unanticipated, extended leave from school during the year.
Co-parents who talk about these issues before they become problems for their families will have fewer conflicts and require fewer revisions to their parenting plans. Thinking about what your children will experience in the next few years will help you put together thoughtful and effective shared custody arrangements.