How to Make an Effective Parenting Plan


child custody lawyer's client sitting on the chair waiting for their dad

When parents decide to divorce, a difficult decision needs to be made about who is going to take care of the children. Rather than letting the court decide for you, the best idea is for the parents to agree to a parenting plan

Sometimes called a custody and visitation plan, parenting plans are good for the children because they provide a sense of structure and stability.

What should we include in our parenting plan?

No two family situations are alike, so the components of your parenting plan should be based upon your children, their ages, and their specific needs.

With that in mind, here are a few good suggestions to include in your parenting plan.

  1. Who will have custody?
    While the court will decide for you if you cannot, it’s in the best interest for everyone to reach an agreement on custody of the children. Will it be joint custody or sole custody? If you have concerns about custody, you need to talk about them with your spouse of partner and your family law attorney.
  2. Make a decision about how expenses will be handled.
    Agree on a plan for how child-related expenses are to be handled. Some situations may call for a 50/50 split of the expenses, while other expenses will require a different ratio.
  3. Anticipate special events and holidays.
    If Father’s Day, for example, occurs when the child is supposed to be with their mother, go ahead and make a provision for changing that. Make plans now for how holidays and vacations will be handled.
  4. Decide how your child will be educated.
    Everything about your child’s education should be on the parenting plan. This can include: how schools will be selected, who will pay for school expenses, who will attend parent-teacher conferences, and how extracurricular activities will be selected.
  5. Include steps for revising the plan.
    Hardly anything in life goes exactly according to plan, so include a process for revision you both can follow. Include ways changes can be suggested and ways to resolve any differences.

If you’re facing divorce in San Diego, call the Men’s Legal Center.

Divorce is rarely easy. That’s why we’re here: to help you find solutions. Remember, if you cannot reach an agreement concerning your children, the court will decide things for you. You can receive a free phone consultation and make your appointment by calling 619-234-3838 or via email.

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