A fundamental part of child custody is ensuring the child will maintain a relationship with the other parent. To achieve this, a parenting plan is necessary.
Know what should be part of a parenting plan
The parents need to think about the child’s needs. That includes being aware of all that should be in a comprehensive parenting plan.
It is a positive if the parents can agree on the child’s upbringing as part of their decision-making authority. Some examples of what will be covered with this authority include the child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing and extracurricular activities.
All these issues are rife with potential disagreements.
Some parents might want the child to be brought up under a specific religion while the other does not. Schooling could be a challenge with the type of education the parents want. There can be discord in letting the child play certain sports or take part in other activities. This can be addressed in the agreement or negotiated as the issues come up.
Parents need to communicate. This can be stress free if they are on good terms. Still, not every couple’s relationship is on solid ground after they have gotten divorced, so they need to put tensions aside to focus on the child’s well-being and needs. That extends to sharing information about the child.
Some of the most contentious challenges center on time-sharing. Parents want to spend as much time as they can with the child and this could lead to dispute. For those who have a tough time meeting in the middle, it is wise to have a parenting plan in place so they know when the child will be with which parent.
Examples could include the child being with the custodial parent during the week and seeing the other parent on weekends. This can be extended on holidays, special occasions, summer breaks and other times where there is no school. If the parents have a good relationship, they can be flexible with parenting time arrangements.
Preparation is crucial with custody and parenting time
Child custody and parenting plans come in many forms with a litany of factors considered. The child’s best interests are paramount. Once it is decided that there are no safety issues, then the parents can craft their own parenting plan to be approved by the court or they can receive assistance. Both parents and the child need to be protected as this process moves forward.