Once a married couple with children files for divorce, both parents should prepare for the parenting decisions dynamic to change. Why? Because post-divorce one of the parents will not be in the room when education and medical decisions get discussed and made.
I don’t mean day-to-day decisions like which kids have done their homework and have earned some internet time. Instead I refer to bigger decisions like which elective high school classes to take, and which colleges to apply for. It would be great if the parent with whom the children live most of the time (custodial parent) checked with the non-custodial parent to get their input, but as time marches on I notice that the non-custodial parent becomes less involved in making big decisions. But they don’t have to be sidelined.
After working with hundreds of divorcing parents as an Atlanta divorce attorney, I can tell you that as the divorce proceeding fades into the past, non-custodial parents tend to be forgotten more and more even though they are still responsible for parenting. That is not anyone’s fault – it’s just human nature. The world moves fast and there are many decisions that must be made every week. So how can both parents be kept in the loop, which is really what your child deserves?
One way to keep everyone informed and to ensure that both parents have a say in important matters is to remember to tell the other parent that a big decision is coming up, and that both of you (together with your child if they are a teenager) need to decide on the best course of action. This willingness to keep all parties involved naturally may decrease over the years, or it can diminish because the custodial parent may get pressured by his or her new partner to NOT include the other parent. The Golden Rule of treating others as you want to be treated applies here.
If you are thinking about a divorce, then life on your own with the kids is something you should mentally prepare for ahead of time. If you will be the non-custodial parent, then it is imperative that you craft a parenting plan that keeps you fully vested in your child’s future decisions. Married or not you shouldn’t miss out on propelling your children to greater heights, and in being as informed as possible. I am here to answer any questions.