There are lots of primary parents out there who would actually love their co-parents to take their kids more. And of course there are a lot of single fathers who would more time with their kids. It seems like there should be an easy solution, right? Unfortunately, co-parenting paranoia can throw a wrench in the works. Here are three winning strategies to help you increase the amount of parenting time that you get with your kids.
Strategy to Increase Parenting Time #1: Consistency
It’s easy for a non-custodial parent to write off a co-parent’s fears as the result of greed, but by far, the parents we’ve talked with were worried more about consistency. They were nervous that the non-custodial parent would suffer a setback and withdraw from the child’s life after being more involved. That kind of more-and-then-less involvement can play havoc with a child’s emotional health, and not only bad for the child, but then the other parent has to deal with the emotional fallout.
You might have to jump through a few hoops to prove that you’re reliable. Things happen, but your time with your children has to remain a top priority if you plan to change a parenting time schedule. These kinds of fears can also lead to your co-parent overreacting if you’re late for pick-ups and drop-offs or frequently have emergencies or other drama in your life which makes you (or makes you seem) unreliable.
Strategy to Increase Parenting Time #2: Consistent Parenting Choices
Consistency also applies to child-rearing choices such as parenting style and discipline. It’s hard for some co-parents parents to remember that weekend parenting time doesn’t allow for the same opportunities and structure that come with weekday parenting responsibilities. Doctors offices tend to be closed. There’s no school. The kids might not have homework over the weekend. At your house, the kids might not have the same chores or bedtime.
DadsRights.org is always free, always reader-supported. Your support via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal is appreciated. Receipts will come from ISIPP.
This can cause your co-parent to be concerned that you’ll be seen as the ‘fun’ parent, and that the kids will wind up somehow loving you more. You can counter this by talking with your co-parent and arranging to take some of the parenting responsibilities off of their plates. Some doctors’ offices have Saturday hours, for instance, and instead of homework, you might supplement the kids’ education with ‘learning time’ at your house, or relevant field trips such as to museums.
Strategy to Increase Parenting Time #3: Talk About Child Support
Many co-parents with primary custody fear that you having more parenting time will eventually lead to a reduction in child support. This is not an unreasonable fear, as in all states the amount of child support is based in part on how often the children are with each parent. The key to tackling this issue might not feel fair, but given the way the world works, it is almost guaranteed to pay off in your favor.
How to finesse the concern about reduction in child support
When you ask your co-parent about you having more parenting time, offer up front to continue paying the current amount of child support, and reassure them that you will not look to reduce child support based on the increase in parenting time. This one simple strategy can immediately change things and result in more parenting time for you without the need for an expensive, disruptive battle in court.
Many single fathers want more time with their children, but they’re not sure how to make it happen. Solutions, however, can be easier than it may seem! Try our strategies to increase parenting time and see what happens; you may be pleasantly surprised!
Note: Some links on this site are partner links and earn us a small commission. But it's really tiny. Seriously. Like less than $7 a month.