Issues surrounding divorce and child custody can be challenging. Having an experienced attorney prepare a parenting plan not only outlines how your children will be cared for, it shows that your children are a priority and you are dedicated to putting their interests and well-being first. An experienced divorce attorney will determine the specifics that should be included in your parenting plan and help you work out the details of how you will co-parent with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Vital Elements of a Parenting Plan
Each family situation is unique and there are many different factors that affect your parenting plan. Your children’s ages, school schedules and parents’ work schedules are essential issues to take into consideration when creating a plan that will run smoothly.
1. Create a parenting schedule. One of the most important parts of your parenting plan should include the details on how you and your co-parent will physically care for your children. If possible, work with each other to coordinate schedules and come up with a plan that allows both parents to spend plenty of time with the children. Negotiating custody for holidays, vacations and birthdays can be particularly contentious, especially when a schedule for these special days isn’t fully settled in advance. Your family law attorney, who is well equipped to anticipate contentious issues, will be able to handle negotiations regarding issues of custody and can make it easier to come to a fair agreement and help both parties avoid conflict and stress.
2. Outline plans for making big decisions. Education, healthcare, religious practices, and discipline are just a few important issues that should be discussed and included in your parenting plan. Negotiating these decisions ahead of time and including specifics about how they will be handled can facilitate better communication if problems arise down the road. Your attorney will advise you on how to move forward if you and your co-parent can’t come to a reasonable agreement on these decisions.
3. Address child-related expenses. Finances are often a source of serious dispute when it comes to divorce and child custody. That’s why it’s vital to have an attorney help you develop a specific plan that lays out clear expectations about how your children will be supported. You may decide that certain expenses can be split 50/50 while others may be divided differently. Medical insurance, life insurance and estate planning services are also vital subjects that your attorney should help you address in a parenting plan, especially if you have a child who may benefit from having a special needs trust for their future care.
You and your co-parent may not be together anymore but as long as it’s safe, children deserve to have a close, loving relationship with both of their parents. Seeking the counsel of a divorce attorney in West Chester who is well-versed in the nuances of family law will ensure that your parenting plan addresses important details you may have missed. At Carosella & Associates, our experienced attorneys will guide you in creating a plan that clearly defines rules, expectations and boundaries while keeping your children’s best interests in mind.