In order for co-parents in Michigan to be successful, they need to work together while looking out for the best interests of their children. An effective parenting plan involves considering how children respond to separation and divorce at different stages of their lives.
Ex-spouses often find that it is most challenging for them to design a parenting plan for babies and toddlers. Very young children need consistency. Even the smallest changes can be upsetting for them. In most situations, babies and toddlers should be with a primary caregiver most of the time. It is advisable for a baby or toddler to see the other parent about two or three times a week for at least a couple of hours.
As children grow up, it is important that they develop an attachment to each parent. This can be impossible if one or both of the parents are absent. Parents need to spend quality time with babies and young children in order to bond with them.
As the children get older, they can slowly transition into a different schedule, which may include overnight visits with the parent who is not their primary caregiver. It may be a good idea to spend one full day with a non-primary caregiver every other week in order to monitor how the children react to the change.
It can be challenging to accommodate teens and older children since they typically have schedules of their own. A child’s social life should be taken into consideration when making a parenting plan.
When a person feels concerned that a parenting plan is not working and his or her ex-spouse is not in agreement about making changes, it may be necessary to talk to a lawyer. An attorney could answer questions about making changes to child custody and support, visitation and parenting plans.