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What do psychologists say about parenting plans?

Parenting plans need to be arranged whenever parents divorce in Florida. These plans map out when children will spend time with and/or live with either parent. In the past, courts tended to encourage an easy-to-implement plan that involved the father seeing his or her kids every other weekend. The mothers would then take care of the kids throughout the week.

Psychologists disagree with this parenting plan, however, saying that children do better when they have specially tailored parenting plans that reflect their family's unique circumstances. In this vein, the parenting plan should reflect also the relationship the child has with both parents.

According to research, cookie-cutter custody arrangements can feel confusing and arbitrary to kids. They are especially damaging when children have a strong and positive relationship with one parent, but suddenly the bond between the child and parent is cut due to an abrupt reduction in contact between the two. According to research, approximately half of children want to have increased contact with noncustodial fathers.

It's not common for children to be included in the decision-making process regarding living arrangements following divorce; however, children tend to be happier when their concerns and desires are considered. In addition, children tend to be socially adjusted when their dads are involved as much as possible in their lives after a divorce.

Do you want to create a post-divorce child custody and parenting plan that supports your child's development? A Broward County family law attorney can help you consider your options and put together a parenting plan that reflects your family's unique circumstances and needs.

Source: American Psychological Association, "Parenting plans with kids in mind," accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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