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Understanding Your Parenting Plan

By JWGLAWYER on May 26, 2015

A parenting plan describes the parenting arrangements you and ex have agreed upon regarding the care of your children. It would include different components relating to parenting time and responsibilities of each parent.

The parenting plan works to make the children the main focus, devising a solution that puts their best interests first; while still considering the practical needs of the parents.

Creating Your Parenting Plan

Your attorneys will be able to help you in creating a plan that works for both you and your family. This plan is something that outlines both the general views both parents will uphold (like principles and goals in parenting) and also specifics outlining communication and visitation.

What Does a Parenting Plan Include?

A parenting plan is an in-depth document that covers virtually every aspect to parenting your children together. A plan will generally include the times and schedules a child will reside or stay with one parent, any vacation allotments or holiday schedules; which can be as specific or open as youd like to keep the arrangement.

It also includes information regarding communication; how the parents will communicate together, how both parents agree to resolve conflict, how the parents will interact with the children, etc. Make sure you include information like communication methods (phone, text, email, book) and also what should happen in the event of an emergency.

Finally, a parenting plan includes other components that you may or may not have considered, like introducing new partners, attending events for the school, expected behavior from parents and any transfer of children (who will drive, who will pick up, drop off times and locations).

Why Parenting Plans Can Offer Comfort

Children thrive best in routine and structure especially during chaotic times. Having a solidified plan can help keep things organized for younger children and help older ones understand whats to be expected of them (they dont have to see the plan, just know what is going on with schedules etc.). The plan can also help minimize arguing over time and access; with everyone knowing when theyll have time with the children and how often theyll see them in the future.

What If We Cant Agree on a Parenting Plan?

Your attorneys are there to help both you and your ex wade through the common issues of custody and access instead of pinning you against each other, which is commonly found in courtroom settings. Its important to remember that each step is a process while its unlikely that youll wind up agreeing with everything the first day, as you progress through the motions, it likely becomes more about the children and less about winning.

Collaborative divorce works to keep children as the highest priority above everything else, especially when youre trying to sort out years of integrated parenting. Although its not always easy, walking away with your dignity is just as important as finding a solution that works.

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