During your marriage, you probably made parenting decisions on the fly. On a whim, you can decide who will be picking up your children after sports practice or who will be handling dinner. Once you get a divorce, however, these simple things can get quite tricky. If you don’t want the courts to decide on these details, you have the option of creating a parenting plan by yourselves. This option lets you save a lot of grief, time, and trouble. Here are some of the tips that you can use to help you during this planning process:
Parenting Plan or Consent Orders?
With a parenting plan, you have two options. If you don’t want the plan to be legally binding or recognised, then you can simply work out various details and sign a contract among yourselves. This is what is known as a traditional parenting plan. However, you also have the option of making the document a legal agreement. This is what is known as consent orders and the plan will be verified by the courts. Regardless of which course you decide to take, you should have family lawyers at your disposal. Your attorneys will be invaluable as they will make sure that you have covered all of your bases. They will also aid you in explaining and finalising the terms and conditions with your spouse and their lawyer. To avoid any confusion or unpleasantness, it is best to get legal guidance in these matters.
Work Out the Daily Schedule First
One of the most important things that you will need to address is how much time your children will be spending with each parent. Some parents prefer having their children spend equal amounts of time with each of them. Others, due to logistical or geographical difficulties, may choose a primary caregiver with the other parents being given weekends or holidays. It doesn’t matter what decision you come to as long as you have all the details worked out. Both of you should be clearly aware of where your children will be spending every moment of their day. Once this has been sorted out, you can move onto the big events such as birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Decide How to Make Major Decisions
There are many big decisions that you will need to make throughout your child’s life. These could be school related, pertaining to medical procedures, or even be religious. Due to the impact that these may have on your kids, it is unlikely that you or your spouse will be able to make unilateral decisions. This is why you will need to come up with a strategy with how such situations will be handled. Will you sit down and discuss the matters together? Are there certain non-negotiable facts that cannot be comprised on? By having a plan in place, you will be able to face these future circumstances much more successfully.
If you follow these guidelines, you will find that it is much easier to come up with a parenting plan that everyone is happy with. When constructing this type of agreement, you should focus on what is best for your children. This often means setting aside animosity or anger and working together for the good of your little ones. If you manage to do this, it will be a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved.