How to Create a Parenting Plan That Fits Your Family
If you and your ex can’t agree, a child specialist can help you create a parenting plan that meets everyone’s needs. Here’s how.
Every child is unique. They have different personalities, temperaments, and needs, and no one understands a child better than their parent. However, when divorcing parents can't cooperate to create a parenting plan, the courts end up making most of the decisions about the kids. While judges do their best to take into account the best interests of a child, it’s unrealistic to expect them to understand the needs of your child as deeply and fully as you do. Often, the end result is a parenting plan that doesn’t meet the needs of any member of the family—including the kids. Developing a parenting plan that meets the needs of your kids and your family is not a simple task. Divorce is a complex emotional process that can make it difficult for even well-intentioned parents to work together. For parents that are committed to developing a parenting plan that meets the unique needs of your kids and also understand the challenges of developing that plan, finding a network of professionals to support that process can be invaluable. Outside professionals can be used in all types of divorce. Collaborative divorce and mediated divorce models use a wide range of outside professionals to create an actively managed process that allows parties to maintain control of the divorce and create a parenting plan that meets the needs of their family.
The Benefits of Working with a Child Specialist to Create a Parenting PlanWhen children are involved, the professional team can include a child specialist. A child specialist is a mental-health professional with extensive experience working with kids and families going through the divorce process. A child specialist can support families undergoing divorce either as a member of a collaborative divorce team or as a consultant for a traditional divorce and provides the following services:
- Brings your child’s voice and perspective into the process while helping to keep your child out of the middle of your divorce
- Provides expertise in child development to understand the specific developmental needs of your child based on their age and the most current literature and research
- Recommends strategies to effectively communicate your divorce to your children
- Assists you in developing a co-parenting plan that meets the needs of your family
- Helps parents understand the damaging consequences of conflict and helps develop co-parenting skills that minimize conflict