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Parenting plans helpful when addresssing child custody issues

Going through a divorce in Oregon or elsewhere is an emotional experience. Those emotions are often heightened when children are involved. Child custody issues can turn divorce proceedings into contentious battles. However, it is beneficial for divorcing spouses to address co-parenting situations and develop a plan.

According to family consultants, consistency is key. One parent might have different behavioral expectations than the other. This could potentially cause great confusion for the children. It is important to work together to create something that works for each unique situation. This is critical in a divorce when children typically spend time with each parent in separate environments.

Each parent needs to candidly discuss potential rules for home, school or other scenarios. Consequences should be identified that would either reinforce positive behavior or deter negative behavior. Parents should develop a list of consequences together and determine how to use them in different situations. Not using them too often keeps the consequence more effective.

Particularly in a divorce, one parent may be viewed as being more strict than the other. Advisors note that children are very observant in determining which parent is more strict. Children may leverage one parent against the other to manipulate a situation. Though ex-spouses may not always see eye-to-eye, most do still want what's best for the children and will act in their children's best interests.

Parenting plans – whether developed by married or divorcing couples – are helpful. A plan won't address every child custody issue, but having thoughtful discussions about behaviors can help parents avoid some future problems. When going through a divorce, it would be helpful to contact an experienced attorney for guidance. An Oregon divorce lawyer can help navigate the complicated issues and ensure that any issue regarding children is thoroughly addressed.

Source: omaha.com, "3 tips for creating a parenting plan with your co-parent", Maggie Mcgill, March 30, 2017

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