When parents cannot work together to create a parenting plan on their own, the court will make a parenting plan that is in a child’s best interest. For each child and each family, the result will be different. As children grow older, it is typical for them to become more deeply involved in extra-curricular activities and have a strong social circle with whom they want to be deeply involved. On top of that, the parents most likely have their own work schedules in addition to community involvement or their own social plans. Parenting effectively with such busy schedules is challenging in the best of times, let alone when the parents are no longer living under the same roof. Creating a parenting plan from the beginning that will help cater to your busy lifestyles is crucial to not ending up back in court just to modify the parenting plan again.
As with most areas when dealing with children, the key is flexibility. Children, especially teenagers, often are deeply invested in their extra-curricular activities. Teenagers may be involved in certain sports or programs that they have devoted many years to. Parents need to maintain flexibility to make sure that the child or teenager is able to continue to participate in the activities that are important to them. To that end, parents may need to discuss sharing the responsibility of transportation for practices or weekend meets and concerts. Keeping the lines of communication open is so important.
Creativity will also help in making a parenting plan that works for your schedule. Parenting plans can be crafted to be as unique as you are. Typical plans include: 5-2-2-5, 3-3-2, alternating weeks, alternating weekends, and the list goes on. If parents are already aware of pre-existing and recurring commitments, or military deployments, then they should be creative in structuring a parenting plan around these commitments. But, just because the “typical” schedule follows a continuing pattern, does not mean that you and the other parent cannot break from that mold to make sure that all schedules are accommodated while both parents still get to have meaningful parenting time.
If you have a busy schedule and need to create a parenting plan, contact us today at (619) 800-0384. We have experience in helping our clients find creative and flexible solutions.