Parents who choose to file for divorce may become caught up in the decisions that need to be made when creating a divorce settlement. Property division, child support and alimony are all major components of the final decree. The most important factor to determine, however, is the parenting plan. This plan determines which parent the child spends time with and when. Rather than create a visitation plan based off of the parents’ schedules, it is important to keep the child’s best interests in mind.

In most cases, children thrive when they are able to spend an ample amount of time with each parent. Yet, some degree of stability is also necessary. While it may seem difficult to find a happy medium, parents can work together to determine what is best for their child. As a child ages, parents should keep in mind that school functions, sports and friends may interrupt the visitation schedule. If both parents work together and are lenient with their parenting time, the child will be able to experience these fun activities.

A study published in Time found that children who spent time living with both parents reported significantly lower amounts of stress, sleep problems, loss of appetite, headaches, problems concentrating, sadness and stomachs than those who spent the majority of time with just one parent. This study, along with a host of others, shows that children develop better when they are able to maintain a close relationship with both parents.

Parent flexibility when an issue arises or when something needs to be changed can make all the difference. When parents are able to organize the schedule in a non-confrontation and friendly manner, it creates less stress for everyone involved.