Planning for Parenting time: Arizona’s Guide for Parents Living Apart

Planning for Parenting time: Arizona’s Guide for Parents Living Apart

– Parenting plans provide children and parents with predictability and consistency, and can prevent further conflict
– When parents reach agreements, they are more likely to cooperate as the children grow up

Questions to consider:
– How old is the child
– How mature is the child
– What is the child’s personality
– How strong is the child’s attachment to each parent
– What are the child’s relationships with siblings and friends
– are the Parent’s homes too far apart to maintain regular & frequent contact
– How flexible are the parents’ and child’s schedules
– What childcare arrangements are needed
– How and where will exchanges take place
– How will transportation be provided
– How well can the parents communicate and cooperate
– What are the child’s and the parents, cultural and religious practices
– Are there any parental concerns such as domestic violence, substance abuse or mental health problems
– What is each parent’s ability to care for the child’s needs
– Will the parent be able to exercise the parenting time consistently

Children are harmed when parents:
– Make their child choose between them
– Question the child about the other parent’s activities or relationships
– Make promises they don’t keep
– Drop in and out of the child’s life
– Are inconsistent in using their parenting time
– Argue with or put down the other parent in front of the child or where the child can overhear
– Discuss their personal problems with the child or where the child can overhear
– Use the child as a messenger, spy or mediator
– Stop or interfere with parenting time because child-support hasn’t been paid
– Don’t show respect for each other
– Undermine the child’s relationship with the other parent

Children benefit when parents:
– Helps the child have regular contact with the other parent
– Keep predictable schedules
– Are on time & have the child ready when it’s time for the child to go with the other parent
– Exchange the child without arguing
– Support the child’s relationship with the other parent
– Let the child carry important items (blankets, toys, comforters rtc.,) between the parents homes
– Follow similar routines for bedtime, meals & homework
– Handle rules and discipline in a similar way
– Support contact with grandparents /extended family so the child does not lose these relationships
– Are flexible so the child can take part in special family celebrations & events
– give As much advance notice as possible to the other parent about special occasions, or necessary changes to the schedule
– Provide the other parent with travel dates, destinations and places where the child and parent can be reached when on vacation
– Establish workable and respectful communication with the other parent
– Plan vacations around the child’s regularly scheduled activities

Source: Supreme Court state of Arizona

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