What Are The Key Factors You Need To Set Up A Successful Plan in Your Separation or Divorce in Ontario?
If you’re serious about trying to make your separation and divorce as easy as possible for your children, including reducing conflict and tension with your former spouse, you should definitely create a parenting plan for your children.
Hi, my name is Thomas O’Malley. I’m an experienced family lawyer in Durham Region and the GTA.
In most cases, a good starting point for discussions about an initial parenting schedule will be based on the caregiving arrangements before separation. In some families, one parent will be the child’s primary caregiver.
In other families, even while parents are living together, both parents may have roughly the same level and time of parenting involvement, either from birth or as parental roles evolve as children grow older.
The fact that one parent may have provided more care before separation and the child may be more closely attached to that parent may well have initial significance in making a parenting plan.
However, it is important to recognize that, regardless of prior parenting arrangements, in the absence of concerns about risks to the safety or well-being of a child, after separation both parents are expected to have significant roles in the lives of their children.
Each parent is expected to act in the child’s best interests which normally includes supporting and maintaining the child’s relationship with the other parent.
In making and modifying plans, parents must be realistic about their capacities and commitments, and those of their co-parents. Factors such as work schedules, the relative locations of homes, the resources of the parents and the availability of transportation will all affect parenting plans and schedules.
Parenting plans for babies and young children will need to change as children get older and start to go to school. Parenting plans designed to accommodate a parent’s job may need to be modified if parents change their jobs or work schedule. It is important for parents to communicate effectively, discuss changes that they see in their children with one another, and be prepared to review the plans previously made.
Each family needs to consider the age, temperament, previous caretaking arrangements, and the child’s relationship with each parent, as well as whether the child has special needs related to a physical location or a learning disability. Most important is that parents are able to communicate about their child on a regular basis. Parents must share information so that a child’s experience, as he or she moves between parents is as smooth as possible.
Siblings are usually good emotional supports for one another, and keeping them together in a parenting schedule often provides security. It is generally emotionally better and more practical to keep siblings together during parenting time, even if there are differences in age that extend over several years. Parents need to develop a plan that works well for all of their children.
There are, however, circumstances when children have different parenting schedules. For example, when there is a big age difference between siblings, parents may decide to include alone time with each child in the parenting time plan in an effort to recognize the developmental difference between the children. In some cases, one child may have special needs that require a different plan for a child.
If you have any questions about your separation, divorce or family law case and you would like our help, there’s a few ways to contact our office.
You can leave a message on my Facebook law office page, visit my website at www.canadiandivorcelegaladvice.com, or call me directly at 905-434-8837.
We would be happy to speak to you.
Oh, by the way, did you know you can protect your family law rights and get essential information on settling your family law issues with your former spouse with the daily indispensable family law advice and tips at my FREE Facebook group?
Click here to find out more: Durham Region Separation and Divorce Legal Support Group
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