Many people wouldn’t become parents if they knew that they would eventually need to take care of their child on their own. That’s what moms and dads who share joint custody of their child often have to do, though.
Most parents who couldn’t make things work with each other still want to do whatever they can to give their kids the best chance for success. You’ll want to keep in mind certain factors when determining which custodial arrangements are best for your kids.
Co-parenting infants and toddlers
Children generally bestow significant trust in their primary caregiver up for their first two or three years. They may find it challenging to spend much time away from that person.
Kids at this age may initially appear to have seamless transfers between their parents’ homes yet suddenly start experiencing behavioral concerns that let you know that it’s starting to affect them.
How preschoolers and kindergarteners cope with change
Children become increasingly independent and expressive between the ages of 2 and a half and five. They generally experience a stronger bond with a parent of their same gender around this age, though. Kids’ increased independence and ability to communicate their feelings may allow them to spend more prolonged periods away from a parent during this time in their lives.
Elementary-aged kids’ and tweens’ development
Your school-aged child or pre-teen will become increasingly sociable and independent as they age. They can generally withstand more prolonged visits with each parent, provided the co-parent periodically checks in with them, starting at this age.
Teens and their developmental needs
Teens are perhaps most apt to take the news of their parents’ divorce hard, especially if they see it as disruptive to their lives. Teens are most likely to see any inflexible custody schedule that infringes on their time with friends or participation in extracurricular activities as disruptive. Teens may find it helpful to join a support group for kids with divorcing parents to cope with their new reality.
Implementing a custody schedule that’s right for your kids
Devising a child custody schedule that aligns with your kids’ development may help make their transition into this new reality more seamless. Testing out different custodial arrangements to see what seems before presenting the court with a parenting plan to sign off on in your case may be ideal.