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Detailed parenting plans can be extremely helpful (PART 1)

Parenting plans are hard enough to put together between two married parents, but doing so can be extremely challenging in a divorce situation. Even more so if the parents are not on good terms. But that in itself is a top reason to have a well-written parenting plan; it can keep feuding at a minimum and set up specific guidelines for issues like visitation, communication and transportation as they relate to a child.

While a parenting plan doesn't have to be over the top, it's a good idea to include guidelines for the current situation as well as future eventualities. There are definitely some "must haves" that need to be in a parenting plan. These include a basic residential schedule and visitation schedule, holiday, school break and birthday schedules, and any anticipated schedule changes that might occur as the child grows older.

There should also be a description of child care arrangements and guideline around contact with other family members or friends. The parenting plan should also discuss transportation requirements (including car seat requirements), how relocation requests will be handled, and how any other schedule changes should be handled.

This may seem like a lot of issues to cover in a parenting plan, but doing it initially can save you from a lot of turmoil and possible trips back to the courtroom. Discussing these issues and having them outlined can be very helpful. In our next post we will discuss a few other things that you may want to cover in your parenting plan.

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