Creating a Parenting Plan

How to Divide Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

A parenting plan is an agreement between parents who are either getting a divorce or who have never been married. It outlines child custody arrangements. It addresses who has the children on which days, who makes major decisions about education, who makes major decisions about health care and more. It also determines what will be done if one party's situation changes significantly.

At the law firm of Anne E. Raduns, PA, we know that parents who agree on a parenting plan, rather than letting the court decide, are more likely to comply with the plan. We can help you create a plan that works.

Parenting Plans Should be Specific and Flexible

Crafting a plan that is specific and flexible creates a workable system for dividing responsibility. The plan will function whether or not both parties get along with each other. Ideally, both parties will strive to get along, at least in front of the children. In fact, we can create a plan that includes rules requiring that each party treat the other with respect when the children are around. A good parenting plan creates a process for resolving conflicts when they arise, whether those conflicts are related to the children or any other issue.

Parenting Plans Should be Strong and Effective

A strong parenting plan is built to last. It includes built in periods of review and adjustment based on significant life changes, addressing issues of modification and enforcement. Usually, these periods occur after the first year and then every two or three years thereafter.

We take great care to work with you to create effective parenting plans. The court will review your parenting plan to determine whether or not it is in the best interests of the children. If both parents have agreed on the plan, the courts are more likely to go along with it.

Items That Should Be Included in Every Parenting Plan

When outlining shared parenting schedules, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • Use a regular calendar and a school calendar to plan for school breaks, holidays and summer vacations
  • Define when holidays start and end
  • Include days like Mother's Day, Father's Day and birthdays
  • Create a formula for anticipatable events that will work for the first one to two years of the plan's life
  • Don't forget to include drop-off times, pick-up times and locations

The plan should also allow both parents access to medical records, school records, teachers and activities. Both parents have the right to make emergency medical decisions.