Separating spouses have quite a few issues to settle during a divorce. If they share children, one of the most crucial documents they must create is a parenting plan.
Before the judge signs off on a divorce decree, parents must hash out several details regarding child custody, support and visitation. Absent an agreement, the court decides. Couples should work together to create a mutual parenting plan to keep the judge out of the process.
What is a parenting plan?
The parenting plan is a blueprint for how separated households will run. It establishes a set of agreements on how parents will share in the responsibilities of raising children. It touches on legal custody and what that entails.
What are essential topics it covers?
At the core of the parenting plan is a schedule meant to show with whom the children reside at any given time of the year. The more detailed parents make the schedule, the better. Doing this helps stabilize children and minimize conflict between parents. Aside from a regular schedule, the parenting plan should account for things such as:
- School breaks
A parenting plan should also have a course of action for when parents need to switch visitation days.
What is the expiration date of the plan?
The parenting plan should evolve as the children grow. As time passes, the court hopes that parents can begin to communicate and work out changes to agreements within the plan. However, if this does not happen, a parent may return to court for assistance with modifying a parenting plan.
The parents should do what they can to work out an amenable agreement and remain cordial after the divorce. This helps children adjust to a difficult change in life.