There is no question about it – a mutually satisfactory child custody arrangement is one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce. While you want your child to be happy, you also want to spend as much time with them as possible. Creating something that works for you, your child, and your ex-spouse seems insurmountable.
Enter the parenting plan. Also referred to as a custody and visitation agreement, this contract details important aspects like time sharing and decision making. Creating a parenting plan can save you and your spouse a great deal of future conflict and preserve the peace for your child.
What should I include in my parenting plan?
Once signed by the court, a parenting plan becomes an official court order, so it is important to ensure that you're happy with it before getting this final stamp of approval. Remember that it's about your child, so keep their best interests in mind while setting up the arrangement.
The best parenting plans include detailed information about two main aspects:
- Physical custody: The where and when of your child's time. Your plan should include schedules for weekdays, weekends, holidays, and birthdays. Knowing when your child is with either parent can be immensely helpful.
- Legal custody: This refers to decisions about your child's life. Will you and your ex-spouse make decisions together, or will some be made separately? Decision making topics include education, religion, and healthcare.
As you consider each aspect of your plan, think about practical logistics. If one parent spends a lot of their time at work, how conducive will that be to your child's schedule? How far do you and your ex-spouse live from your child's school? Are you readily available on the weekends? Considering each of these factors is especially important for the long-term success of your parenting plan.
It can be difficult to protect your rights while setting up this arrangement, which is why you may benefit from legal counsel throughout the process. Our Palmdale divorce lawyer would be honored to represent you and help you achieve a favorable outcome. Call our firm today!