January 27, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Need a Parenting Plan?: Experts Advise Formalities When Separating

By Lee Miller

If you are separating or getting divorced, and you have children, you must have a parenting plan.

Research shows that

1 Only about a third of children are described as “doing well” three, five, and even 10 years after a divorce.

2 Another third have persistent adjustment difficulties.

3 The final third are still intensely unhappy, angry, dissatisfied with life, depressed and deeply lonely.

Points 2 & 3 are unlikely to be the future you dream of for your children.  A mediated or counseled parenting plan will help you achieve point 1.

Specialists agree that:

• Shared parenting is what is best for children after divorce, including both week-day and weekend time with each parent.

• Both parents should share the rights and responsibilities of parenting.

• Parents, not judges, should decide what is best for children.

• Family mediation and other relevant support services are vital to the success of shared parenting arrangements.

Co-Parenting counseling helps you understand how your conflict and separation are affecting your children. Minimize your children’s burdens, as well as, reduce your own stress and life disruption. Co-parenting plans stop the fighting and bickering between lawyers and enable you to avoid the high cost of litigation. Give your children the future they deserve by agreeing a parenting plan.

Every single study on the effects of inter-parental conflict conclude that conflict is bad for children no matter how old they are or what stage of life they are at. The more conflict you have with your partner, the less attuned you are to your child’s developmental needs.

A parenting plan helps parents become more cooperative which in turn, helps them connect and understand what their children need and how to support them.

The goals of a parenting plan are:

• To remind parents of their intentions regarding their children (itemize physical and legal custody and child support)

• To reduce parental conflict

• To provide children with a consistent schedule with each parent

• To make the changes that come with divorce easier for the children to accept

• To make a legally enforceable document than can serve as a tie-breaker if a future conflict arises

• To be flexible to the changing needs of the family

• To clearly outline the parenting timeshare schedule, holiday and vacation schedule.

Not only does the law require it, but the parenting plan is your co-parenting bible. The way it is written, and what it contains, can influence the quality of your co-parenting, and impact how well or how poorly your children will do through the divorce and beyond.

If you and your partner are reasonably amicable as parents, then your parenting plan will be your scheduling tool, and your insurance policy for resolving conflict. This is your guide when things are not going smoothly and you are disagreeing about parenting issues. It will remind you of the specific terms that you agreed to, and will bring you back to your original agreement when things have casually changed over time but are now not working.

If you are in a conflicted relationship with your partner, the parenting plan can serve as a daily reminder of how you should be co-parenting.

The parenting plan can serve as the place to explore the micro-issues of parenting and express your different values about how the children should be raised.

Lee Miller is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist based in Santa Monica: Leemillertherapist.com

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...

Santa Monica and ‘Big One’ Preparedness

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages

Santa Monica Man Arrested for Attempting to Murder Girlfriend

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Kevin Ferron charged with attacking girlfriend Anna Koosman. By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a...

Fire Damages Santa Monica High Rise

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Shores Apartments unit catches fire Monday night.  By Staff Writer A Santa Monica high rise by the beach caught fire Monday...

SMPD to Conduct Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Citations and increased enforcement Feb. 15 and 18. By Staff Writer  The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting bike...

Judge’s Final Ruling Orders Districts, Special Election

February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

Final judgement calls for July 2 special election to choose new council.  By Sam Catanzaro  A final judgment has been...

Santa Monica Police Seize 29 Guns, Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

By Staff Writer  On February 15,  the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Narcotics/Vice Unit along with SWAT served multiple search...

Adapting to Santa Monica’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

City’s disposable food-ware ordinance under effect. By Keldine Hull When an updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance went into effect...

Council Votes Unanimously to Appeal District-Election Ruling

February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

City of Santa Monica to appeal ruling that elections are in violation of CRVA.  By Sam Catanzaro On February 21,...