14 Mar How Divorced Fathers Can Maximize Their Parenting Time
Divorce, even amicable ones, brings major life changes to every member of the family. When kids are involved, their best interests must guide your decisions about custody and parenting.
In Washington State, divorcing parents file parenting plans that spell out how you’ll settle major life decisions. This includes things like who’s responsible for education and health care, where the children will live, and how to settle disputes about caring for them. Couples can formulate plans and submit them to the court for approval. If they don’t agree on a plan, the court will establish one for them.
Fathers often worry that courts favor mothers in custody decisions. Although this may have been true in the past, fathers’ rights attorneys in Washington State have succeeded in convincing courts to treat divorced dads more equitably. However, the key deciding factor will always be the best interests of the child. Knowing how divorced fathers can maximize their parenting time will help them maintain strong relationships with their kids.
Quantity Time Is Quality Time
Dads with a history of being involved in their children’s lives have a good case for a parenting plan that maintains that involvement. Kids need consistency, and courts will look to maintain good parental relationships with children to the greatest extent possible.
Show up at your children’s school plays, concerts, and sporting events. Stay involved with parent-teacher conferences. Keep up family traditions, like game and movie nights, building pillow forts, and making pizza together. However, don’t feel pressured to make every visit a big event; keep doing what you did before the divorce.
Make sure that you’re there when your kids expect you to be. Regular overnights with fathers are beneficial to children in divorce. Disrupting schedules or changing plans at the last minute will unsettle the children and make you look like an unreliable parent.
Let your kids know what to expect in advance. You can somewhat lessen the stress of the divorce on your children with predictability.
Maintaining respectful, adult communication with your ex regarding your children’s schedules and activities is necessary. Don’t put your children in the middle of disputes: settle disagreements like grown-ups with compromise and attention to the children’s needs first.
Divorce is stressful, and anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse are risks. Your children need you to be healthy and maintain a healthy home environment for them when they come to stay with you.
You may not be married anymore, but you will always be a dad. Knowing how divorced fathers can maximize their parenting time gives you a head start. You’re well on your way to maintaining a great relationship with your kids.