Are you in the process of getting a divorce but aren’t quite sure where to start?
More than likely your children are at the forefront of your mind and there are a million questions going through your head. Like, how you can make sure they are protected and taken care of? Will we go for 50/50 custody? Is my co-parent going to put the children first? Is my ex going to put the children in danger in any such way due to their past behaviors? What do I need to prove I’m a better fit parent?
We understand the emotional distress that can keep you up at night when it comes to making parenting decisions as you and your ex part ways. It’s important to hire a family mediator who has a psychology background and is willing to do what’s in your children’s best interest, advocate for their personal rights, and make decisions to set them up for long-term health and success.
Oftentimes, when we assist high-conflict co-parenting cases it is because they have a parenting agreement written by a court mediator or lawyer who followed a standardized plan. This plan is not customized to your family nor does it have clear boundaries outlined to protect from psychological abuse and manipulation.
Maybe you’re wondering, why the court utilizes a basic plan when all families are different and unique. Since the purpose is to stay out of the family court system, we are still wondering too. But, if we had to give an estimated guess it most likely is because they are overwhelmed with too many cases to truly meet the specific needs of each family.
Generalized plans allow room for easy manipulation and coercion, emotional and psychological abuse, unclear boundaries, child neglect, and lots of uncertainty for years to come.
How can you protect your children? Do your homework. Ask if your family mediator or lawyer creates custom plans with boundaries or do they provide generalized parenting plans.
Some key factors in a custom plan that are often left out of a standardized plan are:
Protecting the children from parentification and emotional abuse
Clear communication guidelines and boundaries between co-parents and parent-child calls
Resolving medical bills when a co-parent refuses to pay their share
Withholding communication on vacations or creating a communication schedule in general
Boundaries around violation of the parenting plan and who is responsible for court fees
Access to mental health services or coaching for children
Guidelines on introducing new partners into the children’s lives
Sobriety and Mental health plans for parents who have a history of instability
Boundaries around children having their own bed or clothing provided
….and the list continues on
To reduce co-parenting conflict, you’ll want a detailed plan that holds your co-parent accountable for meeting your children’s needs and protecting their safety. All of our parenting plans are custom to your family with healthy co-parenting boundaries based on your experiences with your co-parent and children.
And, if you have a standardized plan do not worry. You can update it every two years or create amicable agreements in family mediation or co-parenting coaching. This is where we can assist in helping hold your co-parent accountable for meeting your kid's needs.
If you do not have a parenting plan, we highly recommend a customized plan. You can sign up for a discovery call to learn more about how we can get started. It will save you months of time in court and thousands on lawyer fees if you and your co-parent can create it together with the assistance of a family mediator.
Plus, who wants a judge to decide the fate of their children?
If you don’t want to make a mistake that becomes a two-year headache of stressful communication with your co-parent, then we hear you loud and clear and will do everything to protect your children and your peace.