There are specific cases where it is best that one parent stays out of their child’s life after a divorce. Yet, in most cases, the best option is the continued involvement of both parents.
That is what a court will be looking to achieve when determining custody arrangements, provided they consider it in the child’s best interests. As part of the process, you must create a parenting plan outlining how you will share parenting.
What should your parenting plan include?
Here are some things this should outline:
- Time-sharing: How much time will the child spend with each of you? If the idea is they spend Mondays to Thursdays with you and Fridays to Sundays with the other parent, put it in writing. Don’t forget things like holidays and birthdays.
- Decision-making: How will you decide on things like schooling and healthcare?
- Communication: Think about how you will enable your child to contact the parent they are not with and how you as parents will communicate on matters regarding your child.
- Additional costs: You need to consider who pays all those unexpected expenses that kids throw up. For instance, your child falls and chips a tooth at school. Who pays the dentist? Or your child wants to take up guitar lessons? Who pays for that? Extra costs can soon mount up, so having clarity now, can avoid arguments later.
What if you cannot agree on things?
The ideal situation is that you as parents reach an agreement on all these issues, get help to put them into a legal document and take that parenting plan to the judge to review and sign. Yet, this is not always easy. If you cannot agree, the judge will decide for you. In that case, you will need help to present your arguments for or against specific measures.