Writing a successful parenting plan may seem straightforward enough, but there are various factors to consider for your child’s well-being. A parenting plan can encompass anything from your child’s visitation schedule and travel logistics to how you and your ex will handle essential decisions regarding their upbringing or expenses.
If you are in the process of creating your parenting plan, there are several aspects you should keep in mind to help you uphold your child’s needs and best interests. When developing your initial schedule, here are a few key things to consider:
1. Your child’s schedule and travel logistics
Establishing how your child will divide their time between their two households is perhaps the most crucial element of your parenting plan. If you and your ex live nearby to one another, you will have a wide range of custody schedules to choose from and more flexibility for sudden changes. If you’re co-parenting from long distances, there will be more limitations for finding an arrangement that works.
Ideally, it would help if you aimed to establish a plan that causes as little interruption as possible to your child’s routine. Consider where they spend the most time during the day and what activities they participate in to ensure your schedule works with their needs.
2. Holidays and special events
Holidays, vacations, and school breaks are essential for parents and children alike to spend quality time with each other. However, it can be difficult for parents to agree on who gets to spend time with their kids because of their significance.
If splitting the time evenly during holidays isn’t an option, you and your ex might consider establishing a scheduling pattern that plans for holidays and events several years into the future. That way, you can keep the peace with your ex-spouse and take the stress out of deciding how to handle these events.
3. What your child wants
Collaborating with your kids when creating your parenting allows them to feel heard. While young children likely won’t provide their input, older children and teenagers may have preferences regarding what will make the most sense for them.
Letting your kids be involved in designing their visitation schedule can give them a sense of control during a time where so many things feel outside of their control. While you might end up overruling particular preferences, allowing them to voice their opinions can benefit them.
Developing the right parenting plan for your kids after a divorce is vital for establishing routine and stability. If you are overwhelmed by the process or have concerns, a family law attorney can walk you through the process and ensure your parenting plan is legally sound.