Tracy Attorney Blog

Co-Parenting Corner: Part II

Posted on 2015-03-11 16:08:16

CO-PARENTING CORNER by Debbie Belmar

 

As a mom working in family law, my initial concern is always for the children.  This is part two of the series of our Family Law Blog, which will focus on tips to help parents work together for the sake of their children.

 

We know that co-parenting after a break up or divorce is difficult.  Parents may be able to reach an agreement outside of court, but often one or both is unwilling to compromise or take responsibility for issues or behaviors that place the children at risk or to even consider each child’s feelings.  We encourage both parents to be flexible.   Putting your kids first during this financially complicated and emotionally traumatic period is extremely important.  Each family member struggles to cope with the transition in their own way.  Surviving the break-up of your family unit starts with helping your kids feel secure.  Feel free to share this blog with the other parent in your family.  Show your kids that they come first by following the tips in this blog series.

 

This week:  VISITATION AND CO-PARENTING AGREEMENTS

 

Keep the visitation agreement simple to remember and easy to follow, for the sake of both you and the kids.  Regular schedules are more stable for the kids.  It also helps them to adjust if they know when they will be able to see the other parent.  We suggest starting with the work and school schedules and going from there.  Be sure to take homework time into consideration, as not every parent is a good (or active) instructor.  Remember that week nights can be hectic and the kids need weekend time with the primary parent too.  Consider week day dinner visits after homework as another opportunity for visits.  Make sure you always arrive for visitations on time, and please remember to call the children or other parent if you will be late or need to cancel.

 

Consider entering into a written Co-Parenting Agreement that outlines the key terms and goals as parents.  This may or may not include the visitation schedule or child support.  If the parents cannot agree on visitation and child support, the Co-Parenting Agreement may address other parenting issues pending a court order on visitation and support.  Our office would be happy to assist the parties in preparing a Co‑Parenting Agreement.  We can also assist in negotiating the terms of the Agreement in the best interests of the children.

 

REMINDER:  Again, it is particularly important to keep all communication “clean” (especially written communications) as they may be introduced as evidence in court at a later date.  Imagine that the judge is reading your texts and emails over your shoulder as you write them, and think about how it may impact your case later.  Remember to contact your attorney for assistance before problems escalate and get nasty.

 

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