If you and your spouse have decided that you can no longer be married, and you have children, you are going to have to determine how to split the custody of your children. Instead of approaching it as a situation where you are trying to ensure that each parent gets equal time with your child, approach custody as an issue of creating an ever-evolving plan for your child's particular needs. Many parents are embracing a parenting plan over a custody agreement. Your parenting plan should include four important elements.
#1 Big Decisions
Your parenting plan should include a plan for making big decisions about your child's life. Are you going to sit down and discuss the plans? Are you doing to allow one parent to take the lead? Are you going to allow one parent to take the lead in certain types of decisions with the other parent taking the lead in other types of decisions? Do you plan on making your decisions based on evidence or values? Will you need to use a therapist or a mediator to make big decisions?
Figuring out the method you will use to approach big decisions together in the future will make it easier to deal with those situations when they arise; you will have already established a framework for handling them together.
#2 Special Events
When special events come up, you may need to make changes to your parenting schedule. When determining how to approach special events, the needs and interest of your child should always be put first. Your child should not be denied the ability to participate in important family, school, or social events because of a parenting plan.
A plan where social and school events are prioritized (regardless of who has the child) and compromised (for events like when Father's Day follows on the Mother's weekend) will make the experience more streamline for your child.
#3 Parenting Schedule
Your parenting plan needs to include a parenting schedule. When making this schedule, you need to make sure that you are really thinking about the needs of your child. Make sure that you add in time periods to formally evaluate the plan and make adjustments as your child's needs change.
Work together to create a cohesive plan that allows your child to spend quality time with both parents but also accounts for your child's activities and interests, and adds in when child care may be necessary for your child. Be realistic about your schedules and your child's schedule.
Raising a child is expensive, from buying healthy foods and the right toothpaste to fees for clubs and activities to new clothing. Figure out how to split these expenses in a way that is fair to both parents and ensures that your child is fully supported.
Include an attorney in drafting a parenting plan to present to the court. A parenting plan that you work on together and used an attorney to craft the legal side of things will be looked upon more favorable by the court system. Get more information about this from sites like http://www.kalkwarflaw.com.