After the dust has settled and the ink has dried, many Colorado fathers are uncertain what the next steps should be in settling into their new parenting role. It can be difficult to know how to set up a new household and how to structure a system for parenting a child or children in the absence of one's former spouse. The following tips are offered to remind fathers of the need to maintain a base of stability for their kids, even as the family moves into uncharted waters following a divorce.
One of the most important things to remember is that even though the courts often refer to the non-custodial parent's share of custody as "visitation," these hours are far more than simply visits with one's children. Parenting time is simply another part of a child's life, and kids should expect both homes to provide structure and discipline. In the best cases, parents will work together to create shared rules and routines in both homes.
Fathers should understand that once a child is in middle school and beyond, their lives become centered on scheduling. Participation in sports, extracurricular activities and other social events will largely dictate the schedule of both parents, both before and after a divorce. Once time with a child becomes limited due to a custody agreement, it becomes very important to find balance in that schedule.
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of giving children a strong understanding of what is expected of them, as well as a sense of what to expect if those standards are not met. Just because a Colorado parent has less time with a child after divorce, the need to be a source of stability and support remains in effect. There will be plenty of time for fun and excitement, but the primary purpose of both parents is to give their kids structure and to help them become adults who will thrive.