Once you have decided to end your marriage, you may think that the hardest part is over. After all, telling your spouse that your current arrangement is no longer making you happy is a terribly difficult task. On the other hand, things are likely going to get much more complicated once the divorce proceedings begin. This is even truer if you and your spouse have a child or multiple children.
When you have to create a parenting plan, the goal is to allow both parents to continue to have meaningful relationships with their children, even though they are not living under the same roof at all times. However, developing a 50/50 parenting plan is more difficult than you may think. Seeing as we have plenty of experience in family law, we know the best way to go about making a plan like this. Continue reading below to learn more about how to move forward.
Information Is Gathered On The Family
The first thing that will happen is either an attorney or a mediator will begin to gather information about yourself and your spouse. Some of the information they will acquire is as follows:
- The individual members of your family
- The age and the maturity level of each child
- Whether or not any members of your family have special needs
- What the current schedule of each parent is and how flexible these schedules tend to be
- What the current schedule of each child is (extracurricular activities, etc.)
- What are the parents’ religious practices/what are the child’s religious practices
- What the current living arrangements of everyone in the family are
- Whether or not there have been discussions about future living arrangements
The next step is to know what each parent is striving to accomplish. In most cases, both parents answer this question similarly. They want to have a close and secure relationship with the child, they want to be involved in the child’s life consistently, they want to be respectful of the bond the child has with the other parent and they want to share in responsibilities that must be covered in order for the child to have everything he/she needs.
Options Are Important
You will then discuss your options. This is an important part of the process as both parents will likely want to understand more about the difference between joint and sole custody. You will also be asked to start making decisions regarding when the children will spend time with each parent and how the two, as separate parents, will make decisions that affect their child.
Developing The Plan
Once the wants and needs of both parents have been taken into consideration, it is then time to start building a true plan for how to move forward as 50/50 parents. You and your spouse have to begin to build a schedule. A good place to start is to consider when the two of you have obligations that will leave you unable to take care of the children. Once these plans are on the schedule, you can begin to split up the remaining time. Some of the other factors you may want to think about are:
- Does the plan you are making facilitate ongoing co-parenting?
- How will the child have contact with the parent they are not with?
- How will the parents communicate about the children?
- How will holidays and school breaks be split between the parents?
- Do you wish to address the subject of significant others? If so, how or when will they be introduced to the children?
- How will expenses for the child or children be dealt with?
Need A Family Law Attorney?
If you are currently dealing with custody issues and you need to help of an experienced lawyer to form a parenting plan, you’ve come to the right place. Contact Sussman Law Firm today and find out how we can help you. Not only are the members of our team smart and capable but they are passionate about helping you with whatever you need. We also provide legal services to clients who are in need of a Spanish-speaking attorney. Call us today for more information or to make an appointment with a member of our law office team.