Child custody disputes can be highly contentious. And even when you reach a final resolution to your initial child custody matter, the issue can pop back up later down the road. As emotions run high while dealing with custody and visitation, it can be easy to lose focus on the things that really matter. That’s why sitting down with your child’s other parent and developing a strong parenting plan can prove beneficial. But when you do so, there are certain items that you should be sure to pay particular attention to.
- Your child’s best interest: First and foremost, you want to focus on a parenting plan that prioritizes your child’s interests, including his or her physical and emotional needs. By identifying those matters that are most important to your child, you can create a road map for your parenting plan.
- Be realistic: Much of making a parenting plan is about scheduling. The parenting plan is going to dictate your family’s new routine, so you want to make sure that it’s realistic for everyone involved. You have many options when it comes to scheduling, too. Even when time is split evenly amongst the parents, they can do so by arranging visitation on a biweekly basis, or developing some rotation involving equal number of days, such as two days with one parent then two days with the other, then the last three days of the week with the first parent. In this example, the rotation would continue so that the parents have alternating three-day weekends with the child.
- Communication is key: When you enter into a parenting plan, you need to find a way to stay informed. Not only do you need to communicate drop offs and pick ups, but also you’ll want to stay up-to-date on how your child is doing. Therefore, make sure that your parenting plan has a detailed communication arrangement built in.
Know how to negotiate the parenting plan that is best for your child
Developing a parenting plan might seem pretty straightforward. However, the matter can become quite complicated and contentious. It can also be challenging to ensure that your child’s other parent adheres to the plan. If you run into any problems with your parenting plan, either on the front end or the back end, or you just want some extra support and guidance, then please consider reaching out to a skilled family law professional for assistance.