Parenting Divorce Plan

The Importance of a Divorce Parenting Plan for Children Between 3 and 5

When you are going through a divorce and share toddler-aged children with your spouse, it is important that you forge a parenting plan that is sensitive to your children’s specific developmental and parental needs.

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have expanding imaginations and are in exploratory mode. Since they have little sense of time, a parent should not leave for too long as this can cause anxiety and fear that the other parent will leave, according to Houston family lawyer Kay Polk.


Children often suffer emotionally when their parents are going through a divorce and may act out in regressive behavior like thumb sucking, bed wetting, clinginess, wanting to be hand fed and other baby behavior.

Because young children are self-focused, it is not uncommon for these problems to develop into more serious issues like depression, self-blame, anger and other forms of acting out.


Between the ages of 3 and 5, children need the same security, stability and routine that they need during their first two years of life. When chaotic events cause disruptions in their lives, they may need to hear a message of comfort and safety that is age-appropriate.

Mental Health Intervention

Sometimes a mental health professional is a helpful tool for parents who are struggling to answer questions from their young children, as a Houston family law attorney will advise.

If the behavioral problems appear to be rooted in the divorce and no other issues are present, then the mental health professional can offer guidance, education, and intervention to put parents on a proper parenting pathway during their divorce.

When the conflict is especially severe, a therapist mediator may be the best resource for you.

Shared Parenting

The parenting plan for a young child should focus on ensuring the structure and routine that keeps their life stable and safe. It is best to establish longer blocks of time with each parent to maintain stability and consistency. As children also begin recognizing holidays during this age, these should be divided into the parenting plan early on.

Navigating the divorce proceedings when you have small children can be overwhelming without the support of a Houston family lawyer. Call Kay Polk Attorney at Law at (713) 234-6260 for help through your divorce.

Coming Up With a Parenting Plan for Your Toddler

Divorcing couples who have a toddler up to two years old should work together to create a parenting plan that meets the needs of their child. Your Houston divorce lawyer will impress upon you the need to come up with a viable parenting plan that provides a reassuring, stable environment.

At that age, children have two conflicting needs: to become independent and separate from their mother and father and to experience a stable and established routine, especially when it comes to transitioning between parents. If the child does not have these needs met, he or she may experience separation distress that is difficult to ameliorate, and the parents may begin to fight over what is responsible for the child’s negative behaviors.

It is advisable for the parents to co-parent and develop a plan that includes extensive contact schedules with both parents. Ideally, the plan will include a combination of periods of contact with both parents, such as a few hours a week and possibly one overnight and periods of longer contact such as extended stays over multiple days. It may also be helpful to have a nanny who accompanies the child with both parents so that the child can form a stable attachment with one caregiver.

Keep caretaking arrangements stable and consistent. You might even go so far as to try to keep the child’s room and living conditions in both houses as identical as possible, including doing laundry with the same detergent and using the same soap to bathe the child.

For more information about how to devise a parenting plan for your divorce, talk to a Houston divorce attorney. Call Kay Polk Attorney at Law at (713) 234-6260.

Organizing a Parenting Plan to Suit Children From Age 13 to 18

A frequent question parents ask a Houston divorce attorney centers around how to fill the needs of children from the ages of 13 to 18 after a divorce.

Your Houston Divorce Lawyer Will Tell You How School Can Be Useful in Adjusting to a Divorce
A Houston divorce attorney will explain that school is useful to make the new situation easier for children to handle. Time spent in the home of each parent can reach a week while school is in session. This, of course, is contingent on how mature the child is and what he or she needs. Both parents will take part in school events.

A Houston Divorce Attorney Will Explain How to Make Arrangements Easier
It is imperative that the older child has an organized plan. A younger child will want to take part in how the schedule will be set up and have a say in the situation. Your Houston divorce lawyer will tell you that a child will see fairness in a plan he or she helped formulate.

How Adolescent Children Will Want to Have The Plan Organized
A Houston divorce attorney knows that the adolescent child will have concerns such as access to friends and that the parents are there when they need them. If there is a lack of organization, the child might blame the parents.

Your Houston Divorce Lawyer Will Tell You How to Handle Adolescents of Driving Age
Using a car should also have certain rules that are implemented consistently and enforced fairly. Both parents need to come together to have a curfew that will be enforced in both locations as well as a set of rules that don't deviate from one home to the other.

Contact an Experienced Houston Divorce Attorney
If you have questions about creating a parenting plan for children ages 13 to 18, a Houston divorce attorney can help. Call Kay Polk Attorney at Law at (713) 234-6260 to discuss your case today.