When going through a divorce with a child or children there are many additional factors you need to take into consideration. Child custody, child support, and co-parenting all become things that need to be discussed and settled during a divorce. Depending on the custody agreement between you and your ex-spouse you may find yourself needing to create a co-parenting plan.
A co-parenting plan is a contract that outlines how each parent will raise the child or children after a divorce or separation. This contract should include a set of guidelines agreed upon by both parents with the best interest of the child in mind. Co-parenting plans are designed to reduce future conflicts and keep you out of court.
Co-parenting plans should be designed to meet the on-going needs of the child and consider the continuation of family rules and parenting methods that should not necessarily end just because a relationship has ended. It should also detail how much time the child will spend with each parent, scheduling details, how decisions about the child will be made, and how parental disputes will be resolved. Having a written plan will help all family members know what is expected of them and can act as a valuable reference in the future.
The key to creating a co-parenting plan that works is to focus on the needs of the child first. Make sure to consider their need to maintain a consistent routine with their schedule, to maintain a relationship with each parent, as well as assuring that the child is removed from any ongoing or future parental conflicts.
A co-parenting plan should be unique to each family. There is no best co-parenting plan that families should follow as it depends on the specific circumstances and needs of each member of the family. But some of the general things that should be addressed in a co-parenting plan are:
- The child’s developmental needs;
- The child’s school & extracurricular activities;
- Parent’s work schedules;
- Holidays & vacations;
- Distance & travel between parent’s homes; and
- The health & disabilities of the child.
Co-parenting plans should be developed with the help of an experienced family attorney. The attorneys at Maclachlan & Allen LLP are skilled and experienced family lawyers specializing in child custody, child support and co-parenting, among other issues affecting families. We are committed to providing personalized and compassionate service to each of our clients. If you are looking for a lawyer that will keep the best interest of your child in mind, while also taking a strong stand to ensure there is a fair parenting plan in place, then call the attorneys at MacLachlan & Allen, LLP today to schedule your free consultation!