Age Dependant Parenting Time

It is important to understand that the amount of time children need with their parents evolves over time.  Consult with a Denver Divorce Mediator to assist you with this evaluation.  In order to minimize the impact of the changes resulting from a divorce in family structure upon a child, the parenting plan needs to take into consideration the developmental needs of the children balanced against the time away from each parent and the number of transistions the child is required to deal with on a weekly or monthly basis.  Below are some basic guidelines for your consideration.
0-12 months:  The time with the non primary caregiver needs to be in a predictable pattern and preferably in the same locaton.  It should be frequent, consistent, and short in duration.
12 month – 3 years:  Reliability is the key.  Whether it is in short 1-3 hour visits, 2-3 times per week, or longer visits in longer intervals, dependability on the visit is important.
3 – 5 years:  Routine becomes the focus at this age.  Children are developing around patterns in their life and predictable vistis including overnights and weekends are certainly appropriate.  IMPT: If the child at this age is showing transition problems, it is usually a reaction to conflict between the parents.  Remember –Happy divorce parents produce happy children.
6-8 years:  Frequent and regular parenting time with flexibility is important to allwo the child to develop their own friends and activities.  Discipline boundaries are important at this age as well as consistency in application of them between the two households.  So, communication between the parents is important.
9-12 years:  Parenting time should NOT conflict with peer and school relationships.  Parents need to be extremely flexible so the child is allowed to build their own world.
13-teens years: Adolescents need their parents – and – they need their parents to be parents, not teens. Children in this age need praise of their accomplishments and consistency in discipline boundaries in both households.  Children may also be involved in planning the parenting time, but should not be given final decision making control.
Consult with a Denver Divorce Mediator to discuss your options further.