Divorce is a naturally emotional process, and when there are children involved, it can be difficult to separate yourself from that emotion to be objective for your child's sake. One of the most important things that you can do to help your children deal with the aftermath of a divorce is to quickly establish and stick to a predetermined visitation schedule. This can help to ease some of the uncertainty and turmoil for your child. Here are some tips to help you establish a plan that will work for everybody.
Create a Space for Your Child in Both Homes
It's often said that kids need a single consistent point to call home during a divorce, and often that is their bedroom in the home that they grew up in. However, this can be difficult for the parent who has moved out of that house. To ease the transition of visiting a new place, the first thing you should do is to create a space for your child in that new house.
Consider having your child help you with this. Having involvement in creating, organizing and decorating the space can help it to feel like home. When your child has a space that's exclusively for him or her in both homes, it can help make both houses feel welcoming and inviting.
Additionally, creating that space provides a sense of consistency from one home to the other. You can help carry this over throughout the house by setting up the same type of homework space that your child has always been used to. For example, if the kitchen table has always been his or her favorite homework space, don't forego the table in your new place. Make sure that you have one for your child to do homework at when visiting you. These similarities will help your child understand the new routines easier, because fewer things will change.
Establish a Predictable Schedule
One of the hardest things for many children during divorce is the unpredictability of visitation schedules. If you see your child two days this week and then not again for two weeks, it can make it hard for him or her to understand. When kids know exactly where they will be when and how often they'll see each parent, it can help ease some of the separation anxieties associated with divorce.
You might find that the common visitation schedule of every other weekend and one night each week is the best choice for you. In other cases, kids may struggle with having that much upheaval during the week, so a week at a time is easier. Think about how your child handles transitions and changes, and select a plan that will lead to the least possible disruptions.
One of the biggest advantages of visitation schedules is that they are customizable and adaptable. What works today may not work in six months when your child starts a new extra-curricular activity. If that's the case, you can negotiate together to establish a new plan. When everyone communicates and clearly defines the expectations, it reduces the bickering, confusion and miscommunication that can make the divorce process harder. For help planning your visitation schedule, work with an experienced lawyer from a firm like. Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP.