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Avoid parenting plans inspired by strong negative emotions

If you and your child's other parent have opted to separate or divorce, you are likely struggling with a host of challenging emotions right now. Many of those emotions may be tied to the idea of transitioning your child from a two-parent household to two households each inhabited by single parents. There is no question that this transition will not always be easy, and you have every reason to be processing strong emotions at present.

However, it is important to understand that allowing strong negative emotions to drive the process of drafting your co-parenting plan is a potentially destructive path. While you may have good reason to be concerned about this transition, drafting a parenting plan from a place of strong negative emotions will likely only hurt you and your child.

The consequences of strong negative emotions

For example, if you are feeling guilt over your decision to split from your child's other parent, you could allow him or her too much freedom to draft your co-parenting plan as he or she sees fit. As a result, you may spend the next several years compelled to follow guidelines that are not in the best interests of your child and your relationship with your child.

Conversely, if you are struggling with a great deal of anger at your child's other parent, you may be tempted to freeze him or her out of the parenting plan process. You may find yourself in a position where you have unnecessarily hurt your child and your child's relationship with his or her other parent due to your anger during the drafting process.

How to proceed in a healthy way

Thankfully, there is a way forward that offers you and your co-parent the best chance at health and happiness. You may not always be able to keep your strong negative emotions in check during the drafting process. But with your attorney's guidance, you can create a successful co-parenting plan if you keep your child's best interests at the forefront of your mind.

Think about what your child will need in the short, medium and long-term when drafting your co-parenting plan. Think about what he or she will need both from you and from your co-parent in order to be healthy and happy. This forward-thinking vision will help to ensure that even when strong negative emotions threaten to overwhelm the process, you can re-focus and produce a parenting plan worthy of enforcement.

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