Things Every Parent Should Understand About Child Custody and Parenting Plans

It used to be that after a divorce the terms parenting and time-sharing agreements were used to defined the parents roles in regards to their kids. A parenting plan is basically a legal document that details the responsibilities and rights of both parents regarding their minor children. In short, it lists out everything from who makes decisions for the kids to who is responsible for making sure the kids get a daily education to religious beliefs to medical information. Even more important than the legal aspects of the parenting plan is the mental preparation needed to move forward as a family unit. Here’s a few thoughts on how having a parenting plan can make your life easier.

First off, if you’re getting divorced, it’s very important to create some sort of parenting plans to keep everyone in the family on track. One of the biggest problems after a divorce is that the “blame game” begins. Both parties try to prove who was at fault in the divorce by pointing fingers and going back through time with time-consuming court cases. With an attorney handling these proceedings, you can make sure that all of the facts are laid out and that none of them will be overlooked by either party in the process.

Second, you will be able to avoid having to deal with the emotional consequences of a divorce when you have a parenting plans. Family law lawyers often handle the negotiations between the two parties that result in a divorce, but there may be some resentment that still exists on both sides of the table. If you prepare yourself and the family you have left for this inevitable day, you can avoid these negative feelings before they begin. This will also make the entire process much easier on all parties involved.

Third, by creating parenting agreements you can avoid the costly mistakes that many people make in the course of a divorce. For instance, many people make the mistake of trying to get their ex back by demanding high payments in child support. While it is true that paying child custody is important to your child’s development, you can’t expect to get your ex to agree to this request if it isn’t in the best interest of the child. Child support is meant to help support the child and give you time to raise them. If you start demanding exorbitant payments in child support, you may alienate your ex and risk the possibility of a long and expensive divorce.

Fourth, by creating a parenting plan, you can ensure that you provide for your children’s needs as best as possible. While it may be true that your ex may have made some inappropriate demands in the past, you don’t want to stand in the way of your children’s needs by fighting for visitation rights or changing the custodial arrangement. The best interests of the child are met when you work with your ex to create an agreement that meets their needs as well as yours. If you can do this, chances are good that your ex will also work with you to find an agreement that is acceptable to the family law court. If your ex refuses to cooperate, you will have to seek legal council to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the child.

Fifth, a parenting plan will allow you to live a simpler lifestyle that is in the best interests of the children. It allows both parents to set aside their differences and work together to establish a living situation that is acceptable to both parties. A judge will often accept parenting plans that include joint physical custody and joint legal custody. Joint legal custody guarantees that both parents will spend time with the child, but joint physical custody guarantees the opposite – the parents will spend separate times with the child.

Sixth, a parenting agreement offers a middle ground when the parents are dealing with divorce. Unless both parents voluntarily agree to a parenting agreement, they must go to court to settle matters. However, a court order may not always be necessary. If both parents accept the court-mandated agreement, both can use it to protect their legal rights and obtain the fair visitation and custody that they wish for their child.

Parenting plans are designed for the benefit of all involved. They help put parents on the same page, offer stability, and provide for each parent’s interest in the children. Both parents must put in the time and effort to create the best parenting plans for their child. Parents who can work together to establish and maintain an effective plan will do their children and their families a great favor. When done effectively, parental responsibility and child custody can be easily balanced out.