A thoughtful and enforceable parenting plan plays a critical role in your post-divorce parenting relationship. Even if you do not have a current disagreement with your spouse about custody or parenting, an agreement is necessary.
Parenting agreements help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
What is a parenting plan?
Parenting plans include information, such as parenting schedules, that help parents make decisions about caring for their children after divorce. These plans usually include financial details, such as child support agreements and how the parents will divide childcare expenses. Once both parents sign the plan and file it with the court, it becomes enforceable by law.
Why do I need a specific parenting plan?
Parents who get along may try to draft flexible parenting plans that do not contain specific information, such as when each parent will drop off and pick up the children. Without specific information, if a conflict arises, the court can not enforce the agreement.
A detailed plan can help you avoid conflicts and provide you with protection if your relationship with your ex-spouse deteriorates in the future. If you need flexibility, you can negotiate deviations from the agreement. However, if you can not reach an agreement with your spouse, the parenting plan serves as the default set of rules.
A thoughtful and enforceable parenting plan can eliminate bitter disagreements between co-parents that could damage the relationship of one or both parents with the children. Parenting plans are not set in stone. You and your spouse can change the plan as needed.