Being a parent is hard enough when you have the support of a spouse, but it becomes infinitely more difficult after a divorce. When you have parenting or custody time, every single responsibility is yours to handle.
You also will likely have to frequently update or adjust your parenting plan when your children’s schedules change. Once your kids are in middle school or high school, they will likely have extracurricular activities that will make custody exchanges and afternoon visitation much more difficult.
Additionally, there will be many special events, like games, play performances and award ceremonies that your child will want to see you attend. What is the best way to handle special events as a divorced parent?
Ideally, you can focus on what your kids want
Parents working out details for their co-parenting plan often focus on their schedules and desires more than the needs and hopes of their children. If you want to be successful as co-parents, putting the focus back on your kids is a good first step.
Although you probably aren’t enthusiastic about seeing each other frequently, your children want to have both of their parents active in their lives. When it comes to special days, like a school awards ceremony or their first basketball game, your children probably want to have both of their parents there cheering for them in the audience.
As parents, you should talk about setting aside your differences so that you can sit together and support your children as they explore their interests and passions.
If you and your ex can’t share, rules open to interpretation are a good solution
Some couples just can’t set aside their emotions and spend time together. There are all kinds of reasons why sharing parenting time for special events may not be the ideal solution for your family.
Instead of adjusting or changing your parenting plan every season to reflect new sports and extracurricular schedules, the better approach might involve creating broad rules that are open to interpretation regarding how you divvy up parenting time for those special events. That way, you can set a schedule and then follow it without adding any stress to the lives of your children.
Getting the right help with creating and enforcing your parenting plan can go a long way toward making shared custody easier on the children that you love.