Writing a Parenting Plan
Unless there is abuse, neglect, or other legal reasons, each parent gets to spend time with their child(ren) after a divorce. If the parents can work through their differences together, they will decide how much each parent spends with the children.
This organizational strategy is a parenting plan and is exceptional at helping parents and children know what to expect throughout the year.
Although helpful, a parenting plan can be challenging because there are many aspects to include. Use this guide to help you jumpstart your plan.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a schedule that informs parents and children about their location, travel, and responsibilities throughout the year.
A parenting plan includes many things, like:
· Visitation schedules
· Legal custody arrangements
· Physical custody arrangements
· Parenting time
· Child support
· And anything else you and your ex decide to include
Although children won’t necessarily get a say in the plan, especially if they’re much younger, parents should design the schedule to accommodate them.
In essence, parenting plans detail everyday life for a family even though they’re split among two households.
Why Do We Need a Parenting Plan?
As previously mentioned, as long as there aren’t any legal reasons for separation (abuse or violence), every couple should put together a parenting plan.
Parenting plans simplify decision-making and help everyone involved know the schedule.
This co-parenting tool is excellent for minimizing frustrations and disagreements between parents.
Tips for Writing Your Parenting Plan
Writing a parenting plan is challenging and takes several days and weeks to complete. Although you can get the bulk of your ideas written down in an afternoon, you should spend plenty of time discussing things with your ex to determine what’s best for the children.
The more time spent determining the fine details, the easier life will be in the future when an emergency arises.
Tip #1: Determine Time Splits
The first thing to figure out is when your child(ren) will spend time with one parent. Consider schedules, school, travel, vacations, and holidays.
Children must spend quality time with the other parent and have a substantial amount of visitation throughout that year that meets their needs.
Tip #2: Consider Legal and Physical Custody Arrangements
The judge will rule on legal and physical custody arrangements during the divorce process. You must include these rulings in your parenting plan.
When it comes time to decide on schools, medical care, or emergencies, both of you need to know who can make those calls.
Tip #3: Use Helpful Tools
The best-laid plans are useless if you can’t easily access the information. There are many helpful tools available to make your plan.
Consider using: · Google Calendar · Passion Planner · The Focus Course Digital Planner · The Ultimate Digital Planner
These tools are easily accessible and include room for notes and contact information in emergencies.
Writing a parenting plan is challenging but necessary for the courts and your future.
With a well-thought-out plan, you, your children, and your ex can all happily live life knowing important schedules, events, and vacations.
If you need help building a plan, contact Hickey and Hull Law Partners to help you begin writing your plan.