Your marriage with your spouse has come to an end, but if you have children, he or she will still be in your life as you co-parent together. This is going to require a well-developed parenting plan to ensure you both understand your roles and clarify all expectations. You both want what is best for your children and setting a proper foundation for your relationship as parents will help prevent any unnecessary arguments, keeping the focus on their well-being.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan does not necessarily have to be a legal document in some states, but it is still wise to create a formal and legal document with your ex to hold both of you accountable to the agreements you make. If you and your ex agree that modifications are needed, you can make changes to the document as circumstances change.
Here are some important things you should consider including in your parenting plan:
- A residential schedule
- A visitation schedule
- Parenting time during the holidays
- Parenting time for birthdays
- If necessary, neutral drop-off or custody exchange arrangements
- Regular and backup child care arrangements
- If a parent should be considered the first choice as a babysitter when necessary
- Visitation schedules during school vacations
- How modifications to the schedule are to be made
- Car seat requirements
- Clear requirements regarding how relocation requests must be handled and how much notice is to be given
- Plans or schedules regarding maintaining relationships with extended family members
- Rules regarding how or if children are to be introduced to either parent's dating partners or friends
You cannot plan for every scenario. Life happens and it can be unexpected at times. That said, if you consider some of these other details in your parenting plan, you might be able to handle some surprises well:
- Dietary requirements
- Sleeping arrangements such as whether or not they will have their own bedrooms in each parent's home
- Guidelines regarding third-party visitation
- Discipline methods
- Rules for parent-to-parent communication
- Internet usage
- Cell phone access
- Guidelines for movies and entertainment
- Expectations regarding extracurricular activities and religious upbringing
While drafting your parenting plan, be sure to also consider any preferences your children might have. It is easy to get lost in the details of scheduling and rules. Remember that adjusting to this new lifestyle will probably be difficult for your children initially, so try to do what you can to incorporate their preferences to make this transition a little easier for them.
Henderson Child Custody Attorneys
At McDonald Law Offices, PLLC, we have handled more than 200 family law cases in Nevada with successful results. Our Henderson child custody lawyers are widely recognized problem-solvers and are always looking out for the best interests of our clients.
Obtaining a child custody attorney is crucial for drafting a fair parenting plan that allocates the rights and duties of each parent based on the needs of the children. We will ensure your case is accurately represented and that your rights are protected.
Contact us at (702) 850-8004 to schedule a consultation with a trusted member of our legal team.