Deciding on child visitation rules often means putting together a parenting plan, which will outline each parent’s role in the development of the child, or children, they share. There are a great many things to consider when putting together this plan. Here are a few things:
Considerations for Parenting Plan
- Put the needs of your child first while putting away your emotions.
- Put everything in writing. This will help to hold each parent accountable, while also serving as a way to help you remember what was agreed to.
- Parenting time cannot be restricted or denied, unless a court has decided that a parent has problem with substance abuse or domestic violence.
- Do not use your child as a pawn to get “info” on the other parent. Remember that being ping-ponged between parents can be an emotional time for a child.
- Agree to all holiday time and visitation well ahead of time to avoid arguments.
Even though you have come to an agreement regarding your parenting plan, it’s still important to keep records regarding pick up and drop off dates, times, if a parent is late, on time. Recording the “good” times and the “bad” times will paint a fair picture, should you need to prove anything in court. Also, remember to be fair – things will go wrong, on both your side and your co-parent’s.
Working with a Family Law Attorney
Working out a parenting plan can take some negotiating. A family law attorney can help ease any tensions that exist between you and your ex-spouse. A family law attorney will also be able to create a legally binding contract that will hold up in court should you have to go to trial.
Source: Divorce Source, 100 Things You Must Know Before Creating a Parenting Plan (otherwise known as a custody and visitation order), 2014
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