General Guidelines: Planning for Parenting Time

Posted by Leslie SarjiOct 31, 20140 Comments

As part of a divorce proceeding, the now-divorced couple might be required to share custody of the children. While the children will primarily live with one parent or the other, many divorced families split custody of the children so that each parent will have an opportunity to spend time with their kids. There are some general guidelines for spending parenting time with your children that should be followed in order to ensure that your children enjoy their time with you.

  • Make sure parenting time you spend with your kids is with you. When it is your time to have your children, you should try to spend as much of that as possible with your kids, rather than leave your children in the care of another, such as a grandparent or a relative.
  • Don't discuss relationship issues with your children. Relationship issues are adult matters and should not be discussed with the children. It is also not good to speak ill of your ex spouse in front of your children. It makes kids uncomfortable and confused to hear one parent speaking negatively of the other.
  • Refrain from illegal activities. You need to set a good example for your children, and as such you should refrain from using illegal drugs in front of your children. Furthermore, if you choose to drink alcohol in front of your children, do so in moderation.
  • Refrain from having overnight guests when your children are around. If you have moved on from your divorce and now have a new significant other, wait to introduce him or her to your children. Also, do not have overnight guests of the opposite sex in your home when the children are there, unless it is a relative. Seeing you move on so quickly and in such an intimate way can be upsetting and unsettling for children who have recently experienced a divorce.
  • Don't ask your children about what your ex is doing. Although you might be curious as to what your ex-spouse is doing now that you are divorced, try not to ask your children about these things. Your kids will feel like they have to choose sides, between you and their other parent, and it is an unfair thing to ask them to do.
  • Be cordial with your ex-spouse. It is important that mom and dad are able to cooperate when it comes to the children. Refrain from fighting in front of the kids and try to get along. Exchange numbers, keep each other up to date on any address changes, schedule changes or new information about one another that could be important in the event of an emergency. Make sure that you both share any information you have about the children as well, such as updates of things that happened at school and any records for the children, such as medical or dental records.
  • Adequately prepare your children for their return to the other parent. It is your responsibility to prepare your children for their time with the other parent. This might mean sending your kids off with adequate clothing, feeding them and cleaning them up before handing them off to the other parent.
  • Coordinate child-rearing strategies, even though you now live apart. It is important to provide children with a consistent child-rearing approach. This means that you and your ex-spouse should try to take a unified approach to discipline, rules and governance of the children.

Contacting A South Carolina Family Law Attorney

It can be difficult to be the non-custodial parent after a divorce since you don't get to see your kids as much as you'd like. However, you will get parenting time with them during which you can visit and spend time as a family. If you have any questions or issues regarding the custody of your children, the family law attorneys at Sarji Law Firm, LLC are here to help you. Please call us today at 843-323-4341.

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