When you look at your children, you may realize they are one important reason to be grateful for your marriage, even if the marriage didn't last. Now that you are facing divorce, the last thing you want is for those children to suffer through arguments and disagreements while you and your ex struggle to parent them from separate households.
One way to preempt many of the conflicts that commonly arise during co-parenting is to establish a detailed parenting plan. In fact, many parents find that working out a plan of their own is much better for their situations than allowing a Kentucky family court make those crucial decisions for them.
The nuts and bolts of a parenting plan
The crux of your parenting plan will be an agreeable schedule for the children to spend time with each of you. Parenting schedules are not easy. Naturally, you will want to spend as much time as possible with your kids, and you certainly want to be there for their special occasions. However, if you and your co-parent can compromise, you may find it is not as difficult as you imagined to reach a fair arrangement for dividing time for your children, including:
- Which days of the week they will be at each house
- Who will transport the children
- Locations for drop off and pickup
- How you and your spouse will handle last-minute schedule changes
- Where the children will spend holidays and days when school is out
- How you will share vacation time, including details about where and with whom the children will not travel, and how the children will communicate with you when they are away
Communication is vital to a successful parenting plan, and you and your spouse will benefit from deciding the most efficient method of contacting each other and keeping each other updated on the children's needs. Some of those needs may include unplanned-for expenses, such as school trips, extra-curricular activities or special events. Determining ahead of time how to deal with these issues may prevent unnecessary disputes.
These items are only the beginning of the what you may decide are important factors in your plan. You will certainly gain more insight with the help of a legal advisor. The more details you can include, and the further into the future you can project, the more smoothly your parenting plan may go. You will have the added benefit of providing security and predictability for your children.