Parenting Plans Are a Necessity in Divorce
When you are going through divorce, it is extremely emotional and financially taxing. However, it becomes more difficult when there are children involved. If you are preparing to go through a custody battle, it is important to know how to create a parenting plan prior to going into mediation. There are software programs available to help with the plan creation, but you can also formulate a plan with your lawyer.
Why Is It Important?
Parenting plans are your way to get your opinions, preferences, and thoughts regarding your children into an organized format. Without this plan, you will be required to think on the fly and possibly regret a decision later. Creating a plan will take time, but the time and effort will help give you a plan that works for both parents and is effective for the children. Mediation is only necessary if the parents have extremely different views on the parenting plan.
What Is in a Parenting Plan?
The plan will detail how you want your child raised after you and your spouse are no longer together. It is best to view it as the blueprint for your child's upbringing. Therefore, schedules will be included in this arrangement. The schedules will be who has the child for the majority of the time, when visitations will be, how holidays will be handled, and what the transition plans are between the households.
In addition to the schedule, some of the finer details will need to be documented or you will not have a say when things are not going how you envisioned. Think about where you want your child to go to school, child care options, and religious preferences. Finally, you will need to make sure you have communication agreements in place between parents, children, and extended family. Your lawyer will also help make sure any disciplinary measures are discussed and documented if you have some concerns.
The biggest asset a parenting plan gives divorcing parents is the ability to express desires while keeping their emotions in check. You want to make sure you are honest with the situation but also keep your child's best interests in mind. Any time you allow negativity to cloud your judgement, you are going to find it harder to get what you want in the end. Your lawyer will help make sure that the language in the plan is concrete, yet flexible for the future; covers all areas of child raising; and eliminates any negative language. This is the best way to prevent the stress of divorce from preventing a healthy environment for your child. Contact a lawyer from a firm like Shipman, Dixon & Livingston Co., L.P.A. to get started.