Parenting plans are an important part of any divorce or separation. These plans govern the way that parents share time with their children and make important parenting decisions, ensuring their children’s well-being and preserving relationships with both parents.
When you are ready to create a parenting plan, there are some things you should consider.
Put your child’s interests first
Every decision on your parenting plan depends on your child’s best interests. Make sure you prioritize their needs first as you determine time-sharing and decision-making. Remember to factor in things such as your child’s school schedule, hobbies and extracurricular activities as well so that you minimize the disruption in their daily life.
Embrace equal time allocations
Unless there are prevailing reasons to the contrary, the court prioritizes equal time allocation for both parents. This encourages equally shared responsibilities and allows both parents to maintain and cultivate their relationship with the child.
Consider dispute resolution
Disagreements are inevitable. Take time to plan for them with a dispute resolution process in your parenting plan. Establish a procedure for both of you to resolve any disagreements about scheduling, modifications or parenting issues. The more proactive you are about resolving disagreements, the more harmonious the situation becomes for your child.
Studies show that approximately 35% of U.S. children live with either one parent or in a step-parent household. With so many multi-household situations, parenting plans are more important than ever. Consider the relationship you want for your child and establish a plan to encourage that.