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What is a Parenting Plan?

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By Lonnie Nelson
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A parenting plan is a legal document that addresses the many issues that can arise when parents go through a divorce or separation. It can help reduce conflict between co-parents, which in turn helps children to cope more successfully with the situation.

A parenting plan includes details about child custody, visitation, support and other important matters. It also outlines how the parents will communicate and how disputes about these matters will be resolved.

Child custody

If you are dealing with a divorce or separation, you will need to create a parenting plan for your children. This will help you make decisions on their behalf and include any other important issues that may come up in the future.

The parenting plan will include information about where the child will live and when they will spend time with each parent. It will also identify which parent is the primary custodial parent, and who has responsibility for making decisions about their health, education, and welfare.

Judges consider a number of factors when determining child custody, including each parent’s income, work schedules, and commitment to the well-being of the children. They look for each parent’s capacity to take care of the children, and for whether one parent has a substance abuse problem or is violent towards the other.

In addition to this, courts also want to keep the children in their same home and community. They will also consider whether the children have siblings or are part of an extended family network, and what impact a child custody decision could have on these relationships.

Child support

Child support is a form of financial assistance that is ordered by a court when parents separate or divorce. It is intended to provide support for the biological children of the couple and help them get through the difficult times of separation or divorce.

The amount of child support will depend on several factors. These include the income of each parent, certain deductions, and the number of dependents.

It also takes into account the number of hours each parent works and the amount of expenses that the child may incur. This can include education and healthcare costs.

Some states have a set percentage guideline for child support, which can be adjusted when there are changes in one parent’s income.

If you have children and are going through a divorce or separation, it is a good idea to create a parenting plan. This can help you and your ex-spouse work together and be organized about decisions that will affect your children in the future.

Visitation

When parents reach a custody or visitation agreement, it should be tailored to the specific needs of the child. This can involve changing as the child grows older, or adjusting to the life circumstances of each parent.

For example, an infant or toddler may need frequent, consistent contact with each parent to build trust and limit anxiety, while an older child can be more independent and handle longer periods away from one parent without losing important social, educational, or extracurricular interests.

A parenting plan should cover a variety of issues including how disputes will be resolved, childcare details, transportation plans, and education plans. It also should include provisions for communication between co-parents and how to navigate requests for changes in the schedule.

Communication

Having a good parenting plan can make all the difference in reducing parental conflict. It provides parents with a solid framework for how to communicate, and can also help them stay on track for the best possible outcomes.

When creating a plan, it’s important to address all possible scenarios. It’s difficult to predict how life will change in the future, so it’s a good idea to include provisions for re-evaluation.

You’ll also want to consider how your schedule will be set up, and what a judge will need to see to approve the plan. The schedule should be realistic, and it should take into account both the parent’s and child’s needs.

For example, you might include a provision that allows parents to contact their children by phone on certain days during their parenting time. This will let you communicate with your child about school or activities without compromising your relationship with them. You might also decide that you’ll establish a “quiet” time each day where you can discuss your plans with your child without interruptions or distractions.

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