Divorce changes not only the lives of divorcees but the life of their families drastically. Additionally, the latter suffer more as a result of marriage termination than the couple themselves.
That is why it is significant to care about your children’s wellness and put their interests as your priorities. The perfect tool to succeed can be a parenting plan.
Whether you decide to create it on your own or get the authorities to help, it is necessary to discover how to write a parenting plan for court focused on your kids’ interests.
Primarily, you have to realize what is a parenting plan so that you can create the best suitable one for your family. A parenting plan assists you in successful co-parenting, regulating the relationships between parents and with children, and organizing routine and specific situations to meet the children’s interests in the best way.
The guiding principle for creating a working parenting plan is prioritizing children’s emotional and physical needs and interests. This means that you shouldn’t aim to win over your ex when it comes to custody but to cooperate for the sake of your kids’ wellness.
Creating a Working Schedule
A parenting plan is directed at simplifying and coordinating your cooperation so that you can nurture your children even if you are divorced. When you work on the rules and strategies, hold in mind that you need to come to a mutually beneficial agreement and adjust your plans to the schedule you already have. Here are the points for you to consider when creating a co-parenting timetable:
- Comfortable routine – depending on the age of your child, your business, and the activities your kid is involved in, you need to plan a routine that will help you cooperate efficiently. Baby care will require the maximum involvement of both parents; children of school age will need their schedule created around their curriculum and extracurricular activities; while teenagers will be happy to participate in planning and directing the plan at their wishes and needs.
- Special days – mind birthdays, holidays, and other special days. Agree on who and when will celebrate with children so that you don’t spoil holidays with fights and offenses.
- Unplanned occasions – if your child gets sick, you have force-majeure at work, any plans are postponed, who will take care of the children? Will you swap the lost time later with your ex? Discuss this in advance.
- Everyday activities – how will you decide which school, clubs, extra lessons your child should attend? Who will pay for extra activities? This all should be included in your parenting plan.
You need to write down as detailed a plan as possible so that on any occasion you have the guide to follow. If you lack instructions or templates for your parenting plans, you can reach a trustworthy platform such as OnlineDivorcer.com, or consult a relevant expert nearby.
Choosing Communication Means
No plans will work unless you communicate efficiently with a co-parent and your children. Use the following principles to organize communication in the best way:
- Communication between parents – no one makes you communicate face to face. Choose the top comfortable mean, counting calls, messengers, special apps.
- Child-parent communication – get sure that your children communicate with another parent regularly. Establish communication means and hours comfortable for everyone to maintain a steady bond and relationships.
- Coordinating routines – choose an application or any other means to coordinate routines so that your children follow a similar timetable and rules in both houses during visitation.
Mind that lack of communication and cooperation on your partner’s side may be treated as a violation of your and your kids’ rights. If this happens, you’d better request an order to show cause in family court so that you can perform parenting fully and without any obstacles.
Handling Finances for Children
The financial part is one of the most important in a parenting plan for divorce. If you cannot cover the relevant expenses, you won’t be able to satisfy your children’s needs. Review the items you need to include in your plan:
- Child support details – discuss who, how, how many and when will provide child support. Determine the end date – some parents prefer to support their kids until they turn eighteen, while others back up the children financially to the end of college.
- Everyday vs. large expenses – your children will need pocket money, funds for their hobbies and leisure, which is not much but still should be covered from someone’s wallet. There also will be larger expenses, such as insurance, medicare, and more. Decide whether you create a joint fund, track expenses in some app, or pay in turns so that you don’t argue every time your kid wants an ice cream or needs a serious expense to be paid off with no delay.
- Shared belongings – decide whether your kids have separate belongings in each house or carry their things with themselves during visitation. This may include clothes, books, video games, etc.
Apart from establishing clear financial policies, both you and your ex should nurture the financial education in your family and teach your kids the right attitude to the money and their financial needs and wishes.
Every couple should decide by themselves what other points to add to their plan to make it work in favor of their kids and to parents’ opportunities as well. You may also include agreements regarding lifestyle choices, rules, religion, future plans, and so on.
Mind that it is necessary to create your plan in written form and sign it so that it has legitimate power. If you cannot come to an agreement on any of the points, it is better to opt for a court-ordered parenting plan. Then you should study deeper how to write a parenting plan for court, get the forms at the local clerk’s office, and remember to prioritize your kids when making any custodial decisions.