As many Minnesota estranged couples know, parenting does not stop after a divorce, but it can become more challenging. There are some things, however, that parents can do to ensure that their children find constancy and stability even when they are splitting their time between two homes.
As part of the negotiations to reach a settlement regarding family law matters, parents should meet and discuss the rules they expect their children to follow in both homes. While it may be easier for each parent to set their own rules in their own homes for many things, this can result in confused children who might not know when they are acting inappropriately. Setting up common rules will also provide children with a sense of structure, even when they go from home to home. During these negotiations, the parents might also use the services of a mediator, particularly if they are having trouble coming to an agreement. A mediator can offer a neutral perspective and lessen the tension between the parents.
In cases when negotiations fail, the parents might then opt to go to court and have a judge issue the ruling. This should be a last resort, particularly since leaving it up to the court means that parents have a lot less control over these decisions and judges often surprise parents with their rulings. Once the settlement is reached, parents might also choose to participate in a parenting class, which can help them learn how to implement the parenting plan they have reached or been issued.
Parents might also benefit from a seeking the assistance of a lawyer with family law experience to support them throughout the process. The lawyer might explain how the law works in their state and what they can expect from the negotiations.