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3 mistakes parents should avoid when creating a parenting plan

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Child Custody |

A parenting plan is an essential tool for co-parenting after a divorce. It guides parents on how to navigate custody, visitation and communication arrangements. Creating this plan in detail with your children’s best interests in mind is crucial. A plan lacking in key details can lead to misunderstandings and disputes.

That said, here are three other common mistakes to avoid when drafting your parenting plan to ensure it’s comprehensive and effective.

Overlooking your child’s unique needs

Every child is unique, and the parenting plan should reflect that. It should cater specifically to your child’s needs rather than following a generic template. Here are the fundamental details you should incorporate:

  • Physical and legal custody arrangements
  • Visitation schedules, including holidays and vacations
  • Approaches for handling changes or modifications to the plan
  • Procedures for resolving disputes or disagreements

Beyond these practical aspects, consider their age, personality, school schedule, extracurricular activities and any special needs they may have. A customized plan that considers these factors can better help your child transition from a shared household to co-parenting.

Not planning for future changes

While focusing on the present is essential, don’t forget to plan for the future. It’s a common mistake to create a plan that only suits current circumstances. As your child grows, their needs and wants will change. So, your plan should be flexible and consider these potential changes, like school transitions and their progression into their teenage years.

Neglecting the importance of clear communication

Clear and open communication is the foundation of a successful parenting plan. Not setting up methods and expectations for communication between parents is a common mistake. Decide on how you’ll share updates about your child, discuss changes and handle disagreements. Whether it’s through email, phone calls or face-to-face meetings, choose a method that works best for both of you and causes the least tension.

Drafting a parenting plan can become complex when considering legal aspects such as custody rights and decision-making responsibilities. A legal professional can assist you in creating a plan that aligns with state laws as well as your specific circumstances.