Determining how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse intend to raise your children after your divorce requires careful consideration.
When you organize and write down your thoughts before attending mediation, you stand a better chance of remembering points important to you when parenting plan discussions begin.
You know your children better than anyone and certainly better than a judge. Preparing a parenting plan as part of divorce mediation allows you and the other parent to maintain control over the future of your children. You can be sure that your plan addresses their best interests and helps them adapt to new family relationships in the post-divorce world.
A trained mediator will provide guidance as you and the other parent work together to create an effective parenting plan the court will approve. Your mediator will offer possible solutions when sticking points arise and keep the negotiations on track as the two of you employ teamwork to develop a parenting plan that addresses the needs of your family.
Each parenting plan is unique, but you should include certain basic points:
– Custody schedule
– Plans for transitioning between homes
– Dividing holiday and vacation time
– Decision-making rights and responsibilities
– Access to school records, medical records
– How parents will communicate regarding children
– Child-raising approaches such as discipline, chores and allowance
In organizing your thoughts, do not fail to omit times for reviewing your parenting plan in order to discuss needed revisions. Explain how you will handle any disputes about the plan. Also, remember not to use vague language. Make the details of your parenting plan as clear as possible, all the better to avoid misunderstandings and win approval from the court.