Even though Pennsylvania has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, there are plenty of couples who choose to end their marriages every year. Those who divorce with children will have to take certain steps to be sure their family can function on a healthy level following the separation. A great way to begin the healing process is to create a well-thought-out parenting program.
When child custody is concerned, certain guidelines should be followed in the parenting program depending on the age of the children. Younger children require a set schedule, and they need to be with their primary caregiver most of the time. Constant changes in their environment and daily routine can cause distress and anxiety. However, the noncustodial parent should see the children on a regular basis each week.
As the kids get older, it will become easier to create a schedule that’s more evenly split between the two parents. The routine of school and other activities makes it easier for children to be away from their parents. Furthermore, older children tend to be more open to spending time with the noncustodial parent. Many recommend splitting weeks at this age to help kids adjust to a new schedule.
Teenagers are more unpredictable because they may have stronger and more severe reactions to divorce. They also tend to be more difficult to accommodate regarding a set custody schedule because they typically are involved in various extracurricular activities. It’s essential to be flexible to make sure teenagers receive as much time with each parent as possible.
For those dealing with a divorce and child custody issues, it’s important to ensure the protection of all parental rights. Having the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney can help make sense of complex custody issues. Legal counsel could assist in developing a parenting plan that’s in the children’s best interests.