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4 Elements of a Strong Parenting Plan

If you have children, it's required that you come up with a parenting agreement after divorce to plan out the care of your children as they grow. The plan should be practical and concise while keeping your children's best interests in mind, but remain flexible for potential adjustments as your child's circumstances change with age.

While working with a lawyer is the best way to decide on a fair and equal agreement, it's important that you have your say to set the parameters of how your family situation evolves after your split. A parenting plan is the essential framework of your co-parenting procedures that will help guide you for many years, so make sure it reflects your desires, values, and agreements in how you want to raise your kids. Consider these four elements when creating your parenting plan.

Plan Goals

Not only does your parenting plan spell out how decisions will be made about the children, it also lets you lay down your goals for communicating with your co-parent and keeping a civil relationship with them. Try adding clauses that include things like agreeing to be responsive and flexible when the other parent makes a request, showing respect to the other parent, and committing to keep the best interests of your child as a top priority.

Also, you and your co-parent need to decide what kind of authority and parental responsibility you each have. Your lawyer can guide you through this based on the type of custody and visitation rights you have.

Responsibilities and Overseeing Decision-Making on Behalf of Your Child

Basic responsibilities and major decisions need to be made on a daily basis. Your parenting plan should give specific parameters for these situations. Decide what you'll do in an emergency health situation, what doctor your child will go to, whether they'll go to public or private school, etc. By planning out the big decisions in your child's life, you'll make the process easier between you and your ex.

Also, who will take care of your children if you and/or your ex-spouse pass away suddenly? Decide who you want to choose as your children's guardian if you pass away or become too sick to care for them.

Visitation Schedule

Your parenting plan should spell out your visitation schedule and how each parent will spend time with their child. Talk about holidays, birthdays, and vacations. How will you make arrangements if a change has to be made in the schedule? How will you ensure maximum visitation time when going from one parent's house to the other? Remember to make the plan flexible because your children's needs will likely change as they get older.

Conflict Resolution

You should have a plan in place for when you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on an important issue regarding your kids. Perhaps you can call in an impartial third party such as a social worker, mediator, or parenting coordinator to work through conflict.

Your kids will go through many stages while growing up. Having a clear and flexible parenting plan can be an excellent reference for you and your ex-spouse to determine major life decisions for your child with minimal disputes. The FAB Law Firm has experienced attorneys that will fight for your rights when it comes to your relationship with your child. Enter into a fair and practical agreement with your ex by calling us for help at 800-322-9467.

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