During the divorce process, a crucial step parents must do is create a permanent parenting plan, which will outline how they will care for their children. It will contain everything from the allocation of parenting responsibilities to a residential schedule. Having this written agreement can help avoid future conflict, give your children greater stability, and make it easier to raise kids in separate homes. Ideally, you and your soon-to-be ex will work together to develop a parenting plan designed to fit your family. If you are unable to agree on the terms, a judge will have to make the decision.
Below are the most important elements to consider when creating a parenting plan.
1. Put Your Child’s Needs First
First and foremost, your parenting plan should focus on what is in your child's best interests. If either parent attempts to manipulate or punish the other through the parenting plan, it will not be signed off by the courts. Now is not the time to put your children in the middle of your conflict. A divorce is already difficult for a child, and you should be putting their needs first.
2. The More Details, the Better
Your parenting plan should discuss specifics from major decisions like medical care down to bedtimes. Even if you and the other parent have a cordial relationship, you want to be prepared if disagreements arise. This should help you avoid any potential conflict in the future, which is more than likely to happen.
3. Be Prepared to Compromise
During the negotiation process, you may come across terms that you disagree with. Before shooting the idea down, remember that the parenting plan is about what’s best for your child. Unless a parent is unfit, it’s best to have both involved in a child’s life. To get there, you may have to agree to things that aren’t ideal for you, but so will the other parent. There should be a balance that works for everyone as long as both of you are prioritizing your child’s wellbeing.
We’re Here to Help
At Peterson White, LLP, we know how important your children are, and we want to make sure that they deserve the best possible outcome from your divorce. We can help you create a personalized and successful parenting plan today.
Take the first step with our family law attorney by calling us at (855) 919-4124.