The transition from being a married parent to being a single parent isn't an easy one to make. Let's say, for example, that you decide to create a shared parenting arrangement in which your child is with you half the time. The days when you're with your child will be hectic and "full on." Meanwhile, the days you're not with your child could feel lonely and boring.
You'll have to find a way to balance your new life of shared parenting, and the following advice can help you in this regard.
How to do shared parenting the right way
Here are a three essential pieces of advice that every single parent should keep in mind:
Stay realistic: As parents, we feel like we need to be "super moms" and "super dads." But we're also human, and that means that we have limits. In this regard, stay realistic when you're making your custody arrangements.If your job is demanding and you have to work strange hours, for example, make sure that your parenting time reflects your work schedule. Also, if the other parent is making unreasonable demands, be diplomatic while communicating your needs and try not to overextend yourself.
Choose a custody plan that reflects the ages and needs of your kids: Your parenting plan and custody arrangements should be made with the following considerations in mind:
- The ages and personalities of your kids.
- You, your children's and your ex's schedules.
- Every family member's career, education and social commitments.
- Your children's extracurricular and sports activities.
- Child caring arrangements for after school.
- The distance between both parents' homes.
Consider one of the following parenting plan arrangements: Does one of these arrangements work best for you, your ex and your kids?
- 2-2-3: Monday and Tuesday with the first parent, Wednesday and Thursday with the second, then Friday through Sunday with the first parent -- and the schedule switches the following week.
- 2-2-5: Monday and Tuesday with the first parent, Wednesday and Thursday with the second, and Friday through Sunday with the first -- and every other week the weekend schedule switches.
- Alternate weeks: One week with the first parent, and the next week with the second parent.
Usually, when babies are still taking milk from the mother, they will stay with the mother full-time. However, preschool children will often benefit from the 2-2-3 plan above. As the children grow older, the 2-2-5 and alternate week plans could be more appropriate.
Consider your custody arrangements carefully
Once you have finalized your custody arrangements, it may be difficult to alter them without a significant change in your circumstances. As such, Mississippi parents should consider their child custody arrangements carefully before signing their divorce agreements.