When you and your spouse were married, you worked together to raise your children and make sure they were happy and healthy. This does not change when you’re divorced. You’re legally obligated to care for your children and provide them with a safe, loving environment until they become adults. While divorce can complicate this, you still need to work together with the other parent to ensure your kids’ needs are met.
This is where a parenting plan comes in. When determining child custody, you’ll want to have an effective arrangement that outlines the kids’ new schedule. Who will take them and pick them up from school? Where do they go on the weekends, birthdays and holidays? What does your work schedule allow?
A parenting plan should also include expenses, including current and upcoming ones, as well as big decisions. You may also want to include things such as discipline, diets and coordinating visits with other family members. Here are a few tips to create an effective plan.
While you can create a parenting plan on your own, it’s difficult when you’ve never done one before. Getting a lawyer involved can be pricey, but with a thorough review, your lawyer can make recommendations and inform you of anything you missed. You can also ensure your plan is legally binding.
Judges focus on the best interests of the child when determining child custody and parenting time. This means that kids should spend time with both parents as much as possible. Therefore, 50/50 joint custody is often assumed unless there are extenuating circumstances. Therefore, don’t try to fight for sole custody of the children when your spouse has done nothing wrong. Be amicable.
While children should ideally spend time with both parents, there are cases where this may not be a good idea. For example, if your wife has an alcohol or drug problem or your husband has neglected the times on multiple occasions, then these are things you want to bring to the court’s attention. If you truly believe that your spouse spending time with the children will harm them, then let the judge know now.
Be respectful of your children’s relationship with the other parent. Don’t try to plant negative thoughts into their heads. Don’t stress them out with divorce drama. Try to make things as easy on them as possible. If your children are older, do consider their wants. Which parent do they feel more comfortable staying with? Do they want to continue attending the same school? What is their schedule like? Keep all this in mind when determining child custody and parenting arrangements.
Divorces can be complex and emotional, especially when children are involved. An effective parenting plan will give your kids a routine and stability, which are two things they desperately need during this difficult time.
The Columbia child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you create an effective parenting plan that works well for everyone involved. We have two offices to serve you. To schedule a free consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form.
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044