As you know, a great deal of effort goes into parenting. While you may have had the other parent for help and support when needed, you know that arrangement is going to change now that you have decided to divorce. Still, if you and the other parent can work amicably together, you may have the chance to create a parenting plan that works for both of you and the kids.
You may have initially believed that the court would decide all matters relating to child custody, and it is true that they will have a final say. However, you do have the opportunity to come to terms outside the courtroom if you and the other parent can agree on the details. The plan would still need to obtain court approval.
Creating a schedule
Your parenting plan may include a variety of information. In particular, you will need a schedule of when each parent will spend time with the kids. Even if you can work together to come up with the plan, it can prove difficult. Therefore, you may want to consider the following suggestions:
- Consider the distance each parent lives from the other and the distances from your children's schools. Distance can play a significant role in whether a parent can show up at a specific location at a specific time.
- Ask your kids for their input. You certainly do not want them having the final say for the overall plan, but your older children may have suggestions that could help the plan make them feel more comfortable.
- Remember that your children need a relationship with both parents. While you may initially want to create a plan that is most convenient for you, it really needs to focus on the best way to help the kids maintain healthy relationships with you and the other parent.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may have a considerable number of factors to consider when creating your plan.
Discussion with your attorney
Though you want to come to an amicable decision regarding custody and parenting schedules, it still makes sense to talk with your attorney about the best way to do that. Your legal counsel can also provide you with information about what the court will consider when it comes to approving your plan. Also, in the event that you and the other parent cannot come to terms amicably, you can learn more about your other custody options.