Sometimes this is called a custody plan or a custody arrangement. It depends on where you live and what the common phrasing is in that region. However, they all pretty much mean the same thing.
A parenting plan is a document that governs HOW you and your children’s other parent will:
- Share your time with the children
- Make decisions about the children’s:
- Medical Care
- (In some states) Any psychiatric/psychological care
- Determine when you will each take them on vacation.
- Parenting around issues like physical discipline, curfews, and communicating with the children during the other parent’s time.
- How you will navigate extracurricular activities.
- How personal belongings will travel back and forth between homes.
- Whether you want to have to jointly consent if the child wants to get married before they turn 18.
- Many other things!
If you are going through a divorce, these are decisions that you are going to have to make. If you would like help with these decisions you can decide whether or not you want to use an attorney to help you make those choices or you can get specialized help from a parenting specialist. Parenting Specialists are people who have advanced degrees in counseling or psychology or social work. In addition to that, they have extra training in understanding child development, family dynamics, the impact of divorce on children, etc.
Families feel that they will be able to develop a parenting plan just between the two of them what the help of an attorney. While this can be successful for some families, it can be quite challenging for most. If this is something that you choose to try for your family without the help of an expert, we strongly recommend that you look into a few resources to help you along. these are listed below:
- Parenting Apart by Christina McGhee
- Split Film Outreach Project
- Keeping Your Kids Our of the Middle by Brandyn Caires and Jen Schimbeno
If you have questions about a parenting plan, please let us know. We are happy to do a free consultation about how a parenting plan works, what needs to be considered, and what your best options may be for moving forward.