Parenting Plan Development
A parenting plan is a contract that you and the other adult agree on establishing guidelines you will follow in raising your child(ren) in separate households. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else and the process of developing a parenting plan should be collaborative in nature and take into account the needs of each individual child(ren). The parenting plan addresses many of the pitfalls that come about as the child(ren) age with the goal of keeping you out of conflict with the other parent and out of court. Because dividing time between adults consists of such trust with the other parent, this in a large way promotes some security that you agree on key areas. Parenting plans also help future relationships because it allows the significant others in your present or future to read what you agreed on and you will be less prone to follow a different path than what you initially agreed on.
The age of the child and the complexity of the family circumstances determine how detailed one must be in the parenting plan. Parenting plans may address general issues such as custody schedules, vacation schedules, holiday schedules, methods of parental communication, decision making procedures, geographical restrictions on residence, and procedures to follow in case of emergency. In some cases, parenting plans may also include specific details of parenting to create consistency between both homes, addressing issues such as daily routines and schedules, discipline, household rules and expectations, when to introduce new relationships to the child(ren), extracurricular activities, religion, supervision, childcare, and education.