What goes into an effective parenting plan?

Constructing a parenting plan after a split may feel daunting. It is one of the most critical and challenging documents in a divorce proceeding.

A parenting plan sets the framework for parental responsibilities in two separate households. It has distinct sections that are integral for the document to function as intended. Discover some of the elements parenting plans should contain.

Time-sharing schedule

At the center of a parenting plan is the time-sharing schedule. This should account for where the children live during the year. The plan should also break out the schedule to include:

  • Vacations
  • School holidays
  • Special occasions such as birthdays

The more specific the schedule, the easier a time-sharing plan is to follow in times of conflict.

Parenting agreements

Parents should also come to agreements on other factors of how they want to raise their children. Bedtime routines, educational decisions and religious practices may become hot-button topics if not addressed in the parenting plan. As such, any parenting issue that comes to mind should go into the plan.

Deviations and exceptions

An instance will arise when the parenting schedule may not work for one reason or the other. Likewise, a parenting agreement may not always apply. One section of the parenting plan should address standard deviations and exceptions. The document should also provide a general procedure for how parents will deal with disagreements with the interpretation and implementation of an element of the plan. A directive providing that parents utilize the third party when an impasse occurs may go a long way to resolve conflict quickly.

In the wake of a breakup, providing stability and consistency for children should come first. Creating a parenting plan that is amenable and functional may pave the way for a successful co-parenting relationship.

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