It is easy to get caught up in the “me” mindset when getting divorced. Everything can feel like a personal attack. However, when you have children, it is essential to change your perspective and think only of them. That does not mean staying together for the children because that may be the worst option. Putting your children first in a divorce means designing custody arrangements that limit their exposure to the resulting consequences and handling the proceeding in a friendly way. While this can be difficult when discussing visitation schedules, as each person feels strongly about custody, it is essential to minimize any emotional scarring for your children. Therefore, when designing a visitation schedule think only about the best interests of your children and leave the “me” mindset out of it.
Imagine Day-to-Day Life
The first thing to consider is your children’s day-to-day life. Is traveling back and forth between two homes the best solution? Many parents decide to have one family home for their children, and they cycle in and out of it depending on their visitation schedule.
Consider School and Extracurricular Activities
Try to avoid having visitations interfere with your kid’s academic and after-school schedules. Remember the focus is on maintaining routines for them. Keeping your children involved in their normal activities will help them deal with the overall effects of the divorce.
Understand the Logistics
If you will be sharing in the daily parenting duties of your children, then it is vital that you live close enough to do so. Do not live a long distance away and expect to be a part of every decision.
Consider Special Needs
If you have a special needs child, then it is of even greater importance that their schedules remain the same. Therefore, keep visitation schedules in mind that will best suit their needs. This may be one of those situations where a main family home is key.
Consider Your Child’s Opinion
As parents, it is reasonable to want to shelter your children from any pain and suffering. However, in a divorce, having open discussions may be best for everyone. Having your children help you decide visitation days does not mean you are forcing them to choose who they love more. Allowing your children to have a voice in the process may help make them feel empowered. However, it may be wise to discuss this approach with a family counselor.
Divorce is not easy, and it is a good idea to get professional help whenever possible. Therefore, finding a child visitation lawyer in Dallas, TX, like one from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your visitation options is helpful, but you should ultimately think of your children.