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Parenting time: The little things matter

Want to make your parenting schedule work after you and your spouse get divorced? Remember that the little details matter. When setting up your parenting plan, consider the small ways that you can make things go smoothly.

For instance, some suggest never picking the kids up from your ex's house, or having your ex pick them up from your house. Instead, the parent who has the kids should drive to the other person's house and drop the kids off.

Why? When your ex shows up to get the kids, you feel like they're being taken away. This can be hard to swallow and tough on the kids. If you're in the middle of a fun activity, it can build animosity because you feel like your ex is always showing up to ruin it.

If your ex drops the kids off, though, you feel like your ex is "giving" you the children. This cuts off that animosity and makes it easier for you to get along. It sounds like a small thing -- the only thing that really changes is who drives the car -- but it can make a big difference.

Another thing to remember is that you'll need to be flexible. Work schedules change. Kids' schedules are hectic. Holidays and school breaks throw everything off.

A schedule is good, but you must understand that it won't work every single week for the rest of your life. Just admitting this up front and approaching it with the right mindset can stave off negative feelings when your ex calls to make a change.

It is certainly important to know your legal rights as a parent while creating a visitation schedule or a parenting plan. However, it's also important to know how little shifts in your own mindset can make life easier for you and the kids.

Source: The Bump, "Co-Parenting For Grown-Ups: Making The Most Of Family Time After The Divorce," Laura Putre, accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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