When Pennsylvania parents divorce, it can be very difficult for the children involved. Parents who make a parenting plan can create structure and regularity for their child custody arrangement after the divorce.
A parenting plan is a written document that lays out the arrangements for child custody and visitation. It should be drafted with the best interest of the children in mind and should reflect the current needs of the children based on their ages, developmental needs and social considerations, like school schedules, activities and emotional connections.
This includes deciding where the child will primarily live, visitation for holidays or other special events, and transportation. Parents should be willing to be flexible as the child grows and can express his or her preferences.
When creating a parenting plan, it is important for the parents to understand who has responsibilities for decision-making, and can also include approaches to discipline and other day-to-day needs.
It’s also important for the parenting plan to realistically reflect the parents’ situations, like work schedules and distance from the children.
Tips for Success
Successful parenting plans rely on full communication between the parents about their expectations. Parents can include guidelines about how often they will communicate, in what setting, and how they will decide on changes to the plan. It’s helpful to decide in advance how they will handle conflicts when they arise.
If parents can remain flexible and respectful in their communication, they can successfully create a parenting plan. They also have the option to modify the custody arrangement to meet the family’s needs.