In many of our divorce cases, when we schedule the needed parenting plan for separating parents, the room sometimes gets a bit antsy. When we refer to “Dad” that means the parent, who in most cases works long hours out of the house and most likely appears to be the “weekend parent”.
In mediation, where we can be more flexible than litigated divorces, we recognize that the “weekend parent” can feel ousted. Since they are the ones who move from the marital home and are not as accessible to the children as the residential parent. We make sure that even though he or she may be the weekend mom or dad they are not the WEAKENED mom or dad. We understand that the working parent with the longer hours gets home just in time for dinner, homework and bedtime. Once this parent leaves and lives elsewhere how do they keep up with the evening or morning routine? It takes creativity and flexibility and empathy on the residential parent.
Once the mom or dad are living elsewhere and legally separated boundaries for both parents need to get set. Outside mom or dad no longer have the free flowing entrance into the children’s home. Call and Texts need to be made to alert or even ask to come over and see the kids and the residential parent has the right to object or comply.
This is why the PARENT PLAN must be stipulated in the contract for separation. This does not mean that the away parent is seeing the children at their home, because in the separation the object is that the children are with that parent in their new home. And this new home illustrates and impresses the children on how their parent is surviving the divorce.
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