In a recent article, “How to Connect With School-Aged Children When You’re Separated or Divorced,” in The Huffington Post’s divorce section, Naomi E. Goldstein, Ph.D. discusses the difficulty and importance of connecting with children after divorce. In that article, she posits that it is especially difficult for divorced parents to connect with children as they enter elementary and middle school years. As family law attorneys, we have had firsthand experience helping our clients, with children of all ages, maintain their parent/child connections in the face of a changing family structure.
In fact, it is our understanding of this difficult reality that drives us to draft parenting plans that are as personalized as possible. As part of our process, we encourage our clients to think about ways they connected with their children prior to separation. Then we strategize how those ways may be maintained or even expanded through a well-drafted, personalized, parenting plan. For example, if you bond with your kids by coaching or watching their sporting events, but you are not the primary parent, we might draft a plan with provisions allowing for you to coach or watch events during the other parent’s residential time with the child. Or, if you have a special tradition (ex. a yearly camping trip the first weekend after school releases for the summer) we might draft a plan that allows you and your child to continue your yearly ritual.
In the absence of extenuating circumstances, maintaining a connected parent/child relationship with both parents should be the goal of drafting a parenting plan. Parenting plans are not one size fits all. Let us help you make a parenting plan that keeps you and your children connected.