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Parents who decide to separate and not raise a child together jointly in the same household will need to create a parenting plan, which outlines with whom the child will live, what visitation rights of the other parent will be, which parent will have legal decision-making authority, how the child will be transported between parents’ homes, and more.

Creating a parenting plan can be stressful; parents are not always in agreement regarding how a child should be raised, where the child should live, or how decisions about a child’s life will be made. As you create your parenting plan, here are some tips to keep in mind for success during the process.

Be Comprehensive

The more comprehensive your parenting plan is, the better. At the very least, a successful parenting plan will include a basic schedule for where your child will live, a visitation (parenting time) schedule, an arrangement regarding weekends and holidays, details about how your child will be transported between you and your spouse, how last-minute changes will be handled, how you and your child’s other parent will resolve disputes should they arise, and rules for the child and who will have the authority to make rules or decisions about the child. These are the basics. Add-ons might include rules for cellphones or technology, bedtime schedules, dietary requirements, disciplinary methods, curfews, etc.

The more comprehensive your parenting plan is, the less you will have to resolve at a later date.

Be Open

We know that it can be difficult to create a parenting plan – you love your child, and surely want to be with them all of the time. While you may be opposed to sharing parenting time with your child’s other parent, remember that the other parent loves your child just as much as you do. What’s more, remember that you want to create a parenting plan that is within your child’s best interests, not just your interests. Be open and willing to compromise. If you go in with a closed mind and an unwillingness to be flexible, you may create more conflict than is necessary.

Hire an Attorney

Even if you and your child’s other parent are on good terms, hiring an attorney who can help you to create a parenting plan is a smart idea. Not only will an attorney know what things to include in a parenting plan, but your attorney will also know how to help you negotiate issues in a parenting plan. Further, an attorney will review a parenting plan to ensure that it is legally sound and protects a child’s best interests. If a parenting plan isn’t being followed, your attorney can also guide you through different enforcement strategies.

Contact Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C.

There are few things that are easy about deciding that living with your child’s parent isn’t the right decision, and divorce or separation can be hard for all parties, especially a child. At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our child custody and family law attorneys will be by your side to help you understand how to create a parenting plan that is successful and works for your family. Please get in touch with us online or by phone today to request a consultation.