With parenting plans, there are always going to be changes. However, a great parenting plan will account for changes in the future and describe how you’ll handle them.
Parenting plans are essential, because they explain how you’ll raise your child, what to expect from the other parent and what the other parent expects from you. It can address things like what happens if your child is sick or what to do about religion or other activities that one parent may prefer for their child.
What should a good parenting plan include?
A good parenting plan needs to address several topics, including:
- Your basic visitation schedule with vacations and school holidays addressed.
- Schooling preferences (when your child goes, what sports or activities they participate in and other school-related scheduling topics).
- Discipline. Talk about what you’ll do if your child gets in trouble. What are the penalties that they should face or that you’re not okay with?
- Religion. How will you raise your child in a religion, or will you both agree not to do so? Will you both introduce religion without allowing indoctrination? Talk about this thoroughly if you disagree.
- Your child’s preferences. What should you do if your child doesn’t want to visit or has other activities that they want to do on a visitation day?
Of course, you can talk about dozens of topics that might come up. The more you talk, the more you’re likely to cover and be prepared for in the future.
Why is a good parenting plan essential for divorcing parents?
The reality is that you’re getting divorced for a reason. You might not get along well, and you might have trouble communicating. A good parenting plan addresses everything you need to do with your child and gives you more details on what the other parent expects. Simply talking through how you want to raise your child isn’t enough. Avoid confusion by making sure you have a plan with detailed information on what is or is not appropriate to do when your child is in your care or at the other parent’s home.
Your North Carolina attorney will talk to you about what you’d like to see happen as your child grows up and how you’d like them to be raised. Then, you’ll be able to negotiate and work through a parenting plan with your estranged spouse, so that you can raise your child effectively together.