Going from a single household where both parents spend equal time with the children to two different houses with kids dividing their time with each parent is perhaps the hardest part of a divorce. As unsettling as it is for the Michigan couple going through the divorce, the emotional upheaval is much more for the children. One way to reduce the conflict and instability a divorce brings on the family is by creating a parenting plan.
Parenting plan basics
Important parental decisions are written out in the parenting plan. One of the most important aspects to note down in it is the child custody schedule. This depends on each parent’s work schedule, the kids ages, their needs and their schooling requirement. Since parents are most familiar with their schedules and needs, it is best if they agree on these decisions. Otherwise, the court will make these decisions for parents and it will most likely not be one that that works with everyone’s schedule.
Why is a parenting plan important?
The parenting plan provides much needed stability to children. A quick look at the schedule can tell them which day they are spending with which parent. While even a basic plan is better than not having one, a more detailed plan can prevent conflict in the long-run. Deciding which parent has custody over the holidays, summer break and winter vacation is just one aspect of a parenting plan. It can include decisions about sleepovers, screen time, chores, extracurricular activities, when to introduce the children to significant others and how to deal with drug or alcohol use.
While a comprehensive plan is a great way to avoid conflict in the future, it is not possible to foresee every situation that can arise. Drawing on professional help when drafting a parenting plan can help include details that might not have occurred to the parents.