Five Elements To Include In Your Parenting Plan
If you decide to end your marriage and you have children with your spouse, you will have to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan outlines how you will co-parent with your spouse post-divorce and everything included in the plan must reflect the child’s best interests. Ideally, parents can reach an agreement on the plan on their own without court intervention. The court will still have to approve it, though. To ensure a judge approves your parenting plan, make sure it includes the five following elements.
The Responsibilities of Each Party
Start your parenting plan by outlining how you will share parental responsibilities, rights, and childcare duties. For example, if one of you works during the weekend and the other works only during the week, it may make sense for the child to stay with the parent who is not working. Include this in your parenting plan, outlining the exact dates the child will stay overnight on weekends.
You will still need to make many decisions for your child after the divorce. You should include in your parenting plan which party will be responsible for making those decisions. You can also choose to split decision-making authority. If you do this, be very specific about which party can make which decisions. For example, you may handle all education and discipline issues while your spouse will make all medical care and religious decisions.
Many parents believe the time-sharing aspect is the most important part of a parenting plan, and it does make up a large portion of it. Your time-sharing plan is essentially your child custody plan and again, you must be very specific. Include an entire schedule outlining when the child will be with you, and when they will spend time with the other parent. Remember to include plans for the holidays, special events, such as birthdays, and extracurricular activities.
You should include in the parenting plan how you will communicate with your spouse when an issue arises, or even when you are simply making drop-off arrangements. For some people, talking on the phone works, while others find emailing and texting is more effective.
Even if you and your spouse are amicable after the divorce, there is always the chance that a dispute will arise. Your parenting plan should include how you plan to deal with these conflicts, whether it is through mediation or another means.
Our Divorce Lawyers in Orlando Can Help with Your Parenting Plan
Creating a parenting plan can bring a lot of reassurance, as it can let you see what a large portion of your life will look like after the divorce. However, it is essential that they are created properly so issues and disputes do not arise in the future. At Anderson & Ferrin, our Orlando divorce lawyers can help you prepare your plan so it protects your rights and is approved by the court. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.