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Reaching agreement on a parenting plan

Child custody is among the most difficult issues that have to be dealt with in divorce. In child custody proceedings, parents must work together to come up with a parenting plan for the care of their children.

It can be hard to keep a handle on emotions when attempting to work out parenting plan agreements. In cases of amicable divorce, you may be able to negotiate a mutually acceptable parenting plan with relatively little difficulty. If you are unable to negotiate a mutually acceptable parenting time agreement, the court will step in to help resolve it.

First and foremost, there is the issue of determining how to split up parenting time. Ask the following questions to start in the right direction toward establishing an effective parenting plan.

  • Where will the child live on what days?
  • How will the child be transported back and forth?
  • What holidays will the child spend with each parent?
  • How will parents make arrangements for changes in plans?

A parenting plan must be detailed enough that both parents are aware of their obligations, yet not so detailed and complicated that the plan is unworkable.

How will you resolve disputes that come up?

One potentially important aspect of an effective parenting plan is to spell out how disputes are to be resolved when they arise. Couples may, for instance, be able to avoid going to court unnecessarily by establishing an alternative dispute resolution procedure, if they so choose.

Any proposed parenting plan, even those which satisfy both parents, must still be approved by the court to ensure it is in the best interests of the couple's children.

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help ensure that a parent's rights will be protected and that any agreement the couple reaches will not put that parent at a disadvantage or in a position where the other parent can take advantage.

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