Adjusting to life after divorce can be confusing for children. They must adapt to new routines and family dynamics.
As divorced parents in Indiana, you and your ex-spouse must parent together even though you no longer live together. As you go through your divorce, you may receive some well-meant but misguided advice from friends and family, including these common misconceptions.
Myth: Co-parenting only works if you are friendly with your ex
You and your ex do not need to be friends to be good co-parents. A parenting plan and respectful communication can help you avoid conflicts as you parent your child together.
Myth: A parenting plan will solve everything
A parenting plan is an important tool, but it can not address every possible scenario or avoid all conflicts. As children grow, their needs change. Your needs will likely change too, especially if you enter a new relationship. You should revisit your parenting plan periodically to ensure that it is still meeting your child’s needs.
Myth: Visitation is your child’s choice
Sending your child to spend time with your ex can be difficult, especially if he or she does not want to go. Outside of emergency situations, it is important to adhere to your agreed-upon schedule. The court may allow children age 14 or older to have a say in custody and visitation, but young children should not be in charge of decisions about parenting time.
Myth: You can withhold visitation for unpaid child support
Child support and visitation are separate legal issues. As frustrating as the situation may be, you can not keep your child from your ex because of unpaid child support.
Even in a difficult divorce, successful co-parenting is possible. Your child will benefit from having the love and support of both parents.