Payne & Associates, PLLC
336-283-2937

Parenting plans are tricky and child custody issues cause a lot of stress for divorced parents. It doesn't have to be this way, though. If you really want to focus on reducing stress and giving your child the best possible life after the split, you need to create a parenting plan that actually works. Here are some tips that will help.

First off, keep the child's age in mind. A 2-year-old has very different needs than a 15-year-old. Cater your plan to work around the activities the child is involved in and what he or she needs from you and your ex on a day-to-day basis.

Next, remember not to make it all about you. Sure, you may want to have the kids live with you all the time because it makes you feel better about your family life, but you don't want to force this on them if it hinders their lives. Think about them first, remember that it's good for kids to know both parents, and focus on their needs above your own.

It's also important not to make promises you can't keep. When you sit down to work out the plan, you may be tempted to say you can be with the kids all of the time and do whatever they need. After all, you love them. However, is this realistic? You also need time to work, run errands and more. Understand what your limitations are and find a plan that will actually be viable.

Finally, don't be afraid to change the parenting plan. As the kids get older or other life situations change, you can review and alter it. Don't be afraid of adjustments or feel like you have to stick to what you decided upon a decade ago.

Always be sure you know your rights as a parent. Look into the legal steps you need to take to make the parenting plan official and to move forward with your life.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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