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Making Parenting Time Better for Kids and Parents

The adjustments that need to be made in the aftermath of a divorce can be stressful and difficult for all members of the family, but children’s needs should be the first priority for their parents. Fortunately, having happy and well-adjusted children can have positive effects on the ability of their parents to make their own adjustments. 

Parenting plans are crafted with the children’s best interests in mind. However, if you have younger children at the time of your divorce, your children’s needs will change dramatically as they get older. While all children benefit from consistency, predictability and routine, and you’ll need to account for your children’s specific needs, there are some general approaches to consider for different age groups. 

  • Infants and toddlers need to feel a sense of comfort and security. To aid in this, send your child to the other parent’s house with familiar toys, stuffed animals, a blanket and a photo of yourself. Overnight visits can happen once the child transitions more easily between homes.
  • Preschoolers should begin to feel more comfortable having overnight stays with the other parent, aided by familiar belongings from their primary home. Parents should also take care not to disparage each other in front of preschoolers and older children.
  • Elementary school-aged children can handle more frequent and lengthier visits, as well as communication by phone or electronically. It’s also important for parents to encourage extracurricular activities and friendships.
  • Adolescents may be more interested in spending time with friends than with family, so a parenting schedule that can accommodate increasing independence is ideal, and should even include the child’s input. Remember that your adolescent will likely be unpredictable, and that your former spouse isn’t automatically at fault. 

Creating a solid parent plan or modifying an existing arrangement to meet your children’s developing needs can be as difficult as any part of your divorce, and you may decide you would benefit from the input of an experienced family law attorney. Speak with a St. Paul lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart to learn more about ideal time-sharing arrangements

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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