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Post-divorce parenting when the kids are with the other parent

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2021 | Child Custody

Making a realistic parenting arrangement is one of the primary concerns for divorcing parents in North Carolina. They must consider several factors, from their child’s best interests to their schedules to determine what custodial schedule will work best for their family.

Even though parents might put considerable work into making a parenting plan, creating one is very different from putting it into action. Surprisingly, one of the most challenging issues parents face is when the kids go to stay with the other parent. How can parents adjust to this new arrangement when their house is suddenly empty?

Parents often depend on routine as much as their children do

Many parents would agree that once they welcome their children into the world, they become one of the most important things in their lives. In turn, it does not take long for the parents’ daily routine to revolve around their children- they get them up and ready for school, drive them to extracurricular activities, plan play dates and more.

The family gets used to the daily routine and as we have discussed in previous blog posts, it is even more important to maintain consistent routines for children after their parents’ separation and divorce.

However, when children go to stay with the other parent according to the parenting plan, it can feel very strange and jarring for parents.

How can parents get used to this part of the parenting arrangement?

It is often just as difficult to adjust to co-parenting as it is to adjust to having time without the kids. Below are a few things that can help parents transition into this new phase of parenting:

  • Learn to enjoy free time: It might help to connect with friends and family members or engage in hobbies they always wanted to do. The newfound free time can also give parents time to rest and practice the self-care they need after the separation and divorce.
  • Keep in touch with the kids: Thankfully, text messaging and video calls allow parents and children to keep in touch easily even when they do not live under the same roof for a time. Even so, it is critical for parents to confirm this communication with each other, and to be mindful that they still respect the other parent’s parenting time.

It is only natural for parents to miss their children when they are with the other parent, but it is a part of the new reality after a separation and divorce that they must approach thoughtfully for their kids’ – as well as their own – best interests.