Creating a parenting plan so that you can share parenting time with your ex is a demanding process. You have to think about money future scenarios while balancing your feelings about your ex with what your children need from you. Holidays and birthdays are often a major focal point when negotiating a parenting plan, but they are far from the only special days you will need to share.
If your children are old enough to participate in extracurricular activities, those pursuits are also something that you need to address. What is the right way to handle your child’s debate meets, basketball games or musical performances when you and your ex have to share parenting time?
Be honest with yourself about what you can manage
One of the big issues parents have when setting up a parenting plan is that they tried to demand 50/50 parenting time without thinking realistically about their demands at work or other obligations. If you work 60 hours a week, you probably can’t be present for all of your child’s games, let alone each practice.
Beyond what you are capable of scheduling, there is also the question of how you and your ex interact with one another. Children usually would prefer to have both of their parents clapping for them when they perform in the school play or cheering them on during the rugby match.
If you can handle being present at the same place together, that could be a very positive thing for your children. If not, you should think about how you can split both the responsibilities for extracurricular activities and the enjoyment of them, like attending games.
Being present as much as possible matters to your kids
If you never really enjoyed sports that much and your ex is a big fan, your first instinct might be to let them claim all of the basketball games or track and field meets because they will likely enjoy spectating at those events more than you would.
However, the way that you divide parenting time shouldn’t focus just on what you like but on what your children need. Physically showing up and also offering both practical and financial support while your child owns certain skills through extracurricular activities is an important part of parenting.
Knowing what issues to address when negotiating a parenting plan with your ex will set your whole family up for success as you share parental responsibilities.