You are in limbo.
You and your partner have decided to split, but you know the process is daunting, time-consuming, possibly expensive and emotionally and maybe even physically exhausting. But it’s just starting and nothing is settled.
Oh yes, and what about the children? They will also go through many of the same emotions and uncertainties, but depending on circumstances, they may or may not have a say in what happens to them. During the divorce process, they will probably stay in their same surroundings, staying in the same house, go to the same school. All of that offers stability and a sense of normalcy, something they need during this time of stress and uncertainty.
However, one big undeniable change will take place. A parent, one the two most important people in their lives, will be less so.
When going through a divorce, it rarely serves a child’s best interest to deny visitation to the suddenly absent parent. While divorce will create an array of emotions and uncertainty for the family, the children need to know they are not the cause of the divorce, and that they will continue to have regular contact with the parent who no longer lives with them (most likely the father).
To help with the process, create a visitation plan/schedule before the divorce. If the children know in advance what is going to happen, then sees the plan come to fruition during the transition, the divorce will be much easier for them. Like with so many situations regarding divorce, the perfect scenario for one family can be disastrous for another.
So when is the free time for everyone? What about weeknights? After school? A Saturday visit? For some, having dad pick up the kids and taking them to school each day can provide a few minutes of stability, if not bonding.
But above all, the parents need to maintain civility to each other, and keep the unpleasant circumstances between them and their attorneys.
What pre-divorce visitation advice would you add?
Calendar image courtesy of DigitalArt via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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