You may think that you could not feel more negatively toward your spouse in the future than you did at the moment when you decided to divorce. Most people don’t understand the emotional intensity of divorce until they experience it themselves.
Even those who are usually responsible and well-adjusted individuals may find themselves lashing out and behaving in an irrational way. Given that your emotions will likely intensify and flare up throughout the divorce process, you need to prepare yourself and your family for the likelihood of conflict.
When you have children, one of the worst parts of divorce is watching the parents fight one another or hearing them talk poorly about each other. Agreeing to a parenting plan early in your separation can limit how hard the divorce becomes for the children.
Having rules in place minimizes communication
The more frequently you and your spouse have to talk to one another about the divorce or your custody arrangements while you are adjusting to the separation, the more likely you are to get into disagreements.
You can potentially minimize how frequently you have to communicate with each other and how emotional those interactions become by putting custody rules in place as early as possible. When you both agree to certain arrangements early on in the process, you can let those terms dictate how you interact with each other. If you keep all of your interactions focused on the children, you will be less likely to have explosive arguments during a custody exchange.
Additionally, committing to parenting plan terms early in the divorce process can allow you to have a trial run of those terms and to adjust them before your hearings in family court. That way, you can potentially move forward with uncontested custody proceedings. When you don’t litigate your parenting plan, you minimize your time in court and potentially reduce how much it costs the two of you to divorce.
The final benefit of setting up custody arrangements before you ever go through court is that you can explain to your children what they can expect from your new living circumstances on the very same day that you tell them you intend to divorce. Children may have an easier time adjusting when they know what to expect and can see that their parents intend to employ a cooperative approach to the process.
Thinking about the best child custody arrangements for your family can make this difficult transition a bit easier.