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Parenting Plans: How to Protect Your Kids From the Anger of Divorce

As any Houston family law attorney can explain, the pain and anger surrounding a divorce often take a toll on children. In many cases, these emotions undermine court-ordered parenting plans and create shared parenting conflicts.

Here are a few reasons why parenting plans often fail and how to make shared parenting work after your divorce.

Parenting Plans
Parenting plans are divorce court-ordered parenting guides. These orders vary significantly, ranging from a single line to more than 20 pages, and may touch on any parenting activity, including how children are raised and how custody will be shared.

A Houston family lawyer can tell you that not only are parenting plans unenforceable, but they often fail. 

One major reason for this is that it’s impossible to foresee the future in terms of what happens in life, such as changes in living situations, work schedules, and other life factors. Parenting plans simply can’t accommodate for these changes.

Second, it would be unfeasible for the court to compel someone to be a good parent. As it turns out, there’s no way to mandate someone to be a respectful or empathetic parent, although these qualities are important for shared parenting to work. 

Shared Parenting
Shared parenting tends to fail because of residual feelings of anger that persist during the divorce proceedings. There are two main sources of this anger:

  • If either parent has not completed the grieving process and comes to the stage of accepting their divorce, then they may be stuck in an angry stage where they are still combative. In this stage, a parent may put their own needs ahead of those of their kids; and
  • Transitioning from married parent to single parent can be very difficult for some parents and can cause feelings of frustration and anger.

Protecting Your Children
To overcome the anger that is causing these conflicts, it’s important that parents separate their children from all of the negative emotions surrounding the marriage. This is the best way to protect your kids from the emotional toll that divorce can take on them.

That said, there are some parenting plans that are inherently flawed and unreasonable. For example, problems usually arise when very young children are taken away from their mother for long periods, so such parenting plans for babies are not advised.

To remain the best parent for your kids post-divorce, it’s important to control the anger and emotions surrounding the breakup.

When you’re struggling through a divorce, call Houston family law attorney Kay Polk Attorney at Law at (713) 234-6260 for the support you need to get through the emotional turmoil.