While every parenting situation is different, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when preparing a parenting agreement for your children, depending upon their ages. You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable Ventura County family lawyer regarding
your particular family’s situation.
Children Age Birth to 18 Months
A good parenting arrangement for children this age will provide for very consistent environments at both parents’ homes. It is in a child’s best interest at this age for both homes to be familiar and stable. Efforts should be made to have the same type of sensory experiences for your child at both homes. For instance, try to have the same food (formula), bedding, blankets, and laundry detergents (fabric softeners). Also, attempt to have consistent, regular schedules at both households. As much as possible, try to keep feeding, napping, and bathing schedules the same. An experienced Ventura County family lawyer should advise you that all of these choices would add comfort and security to your child’s environment.
Toddlers Ages 18 Months to 3 Years Old
The consistency and familiarity elements previously mentioned should continue. Additionally, it is in your child’s best interest to approach potty training the same in both households. If you are unable to communicate directly with one another, at least write down for one another your efforts. Try to support one another through this process. I assure you, this is in your and your child’s best interest.
Preschool Children to Age 5
It is in your children’s best interest that they have a consistent schedule going between homes. It will reduce your children’s separation anxiety if they know when they will next see a parent. Now would be the time to start a calendar that you put on the refrigerator with a color highlighted parenting schedule for reference by you and your children. Of course, consistent parenting in both households is still very important. Week blocks of time for school or holiday vacations may be okay at this age. Phone contact should be encouraged if a child appears to be having separation anxiety. Also, now that children are beginning to understand your conversations, it is very important that you do not speak negatively about the other parent in front of your children.
Notice that consistency is a general theme at all ages. An experienced Ventura County family lawyer will advise you regarding these and many other elements that will help you put in place a good, workable parenting agreement that is in you and your children’s best interests.
Contact Gary Mitchell, an experienced Ventura County family lawyer, today at (888) 452-1846 for a free initial consultation regarding your family matter.