When two people decide to end their relationship, they also have to figure out what is going to happen to their children. This process can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that the best interests of the child should always come first. Parents need to work together to create an official parenting plan that outlines how custody and visitation will be handled.
There are many things to consider when developing a parenting plan, here are some key considerations to make it work:
Generally, both parents have decision-making power. However, complications can arise, and one parent may be unavailable or unable to respond. Include in your plan how long one parent should wait for a response before being allowed to decide on their own.
When conflicts arise, because they will, and you can’t seem to come to an agreement, name a mediator or tie-breaker for those times and indicate that both parties shall honor the decision made.
Decision-making regarding matters like medical emergencies, extracurricular activities, etc., should be streamlined. Both parents should have access to all records regarding the child, including immunization records, educational records and travel itineraries when on vacation with the other parent.
The child’s physical and emotional needs
It’s important to evaluate what kind of care the child will need in order for them to thrive physically and emotionally. This includes things like their daily routine, medical care, and any special needs they may have.
Each plan should be unique to your circumstances in order to best suit everyone involved. Therefore, create provisions to be invoked in the event one parent moves out of state, lives far from the other or if they require supervised visits. Remember, the child’s health and welfare are the priority.
Developing a parenting plan ensures that each party understands their roles and responsibilities. The end goal should be that the child has a stable and secure home life. The more detailed it is, the easier it will be to co-parent as it leaves less room for friction.