Any separated parent will tell you that careful planning is often essential to making custody scheduling work for children. Children need a sense of stability in two separate homes, which is difficult to accomplish without a plan. Many parents are settling custody cases out of court by crafting their own parenting plans. One huge advantage to these plans is that the parents can customize the planning together as to what will be best for their children. When parents strive to come to an agreement on a comprehensive parenting plan, there are some things to keep in mind.
Although it sounds obvious, children grow and as they age, their needs change. A schedule that is suitable for an infant will likely not be as appropriate for a child entering school. To that end, parents can try to build in the necessary schedule changes to avoid having to return to court. For example, parents may agree to an alternating two-day schedule for a three-year-old. However, such a back and forth may not be as workable for a child in school. Parents can build into their plan that once a child enters school, the schedule will automatically change to every other week.
The costs associated with children will also change. As children age, they often want to join extracurricular activities. These activities often include equipment and fees. Parents should discuss ahead of time how those costs are to be split.
Think carefully about the holiday schedule. Parents should consider the traditions that their extended family has and what impact the proposed schedule would have on the children's ability to attend. Parents can and should consider constructing their plan to accommodate the traditions and gatherings for each side of the family.
Finally, a parenting plan should be specific whenever possible. A plan that has specific provisions for exchange of the children, how holidays work, and other celebrations will reduce the chance of conflict in the future.
Constructing a comprehensive and thoughtful parenting plan requires the help of an experienced attorney. Call us today and let us help you plan for your child’s future at 619-800-0384.