Divorce And Custody, The Benefits of a Parenting Plan

Divorce is always a stressful business but when there are children involved stress takes on a whole new meaning and can mean unnecessary suffering for all involved.

child_custody_formsThe issues of divorce and custody, visitation and support are paramount and should never be left up to a court or government agency if there is the slightest hope of communication between the divorcing couple. No matter how angry or combative the situation the children, who are after all, unwilling participants in this process, must come first.

Get qualified help to stay on track

Typically a councilor or family mediator can provide calm assistance in the process of mapping out a healthy post divorce arrangement for the benefit of the children.

The key element in such an arrangement would be a parenting plan or agreement which, by the way should be in writing. The councilor/family mediator can play an important role here as sometimes face to face discussion is not practical or even possible in the case of a hostile divorce proceeding.

What to include in the plan

Items to include in a good plan would be: custody, living arrangements, financial support, and visitation (when and how long, holidays etc.), medical concerns, education and matters of religion.

It is also a good practice to put together copies of documents pertinent to the children’s status and welfare like school records, medical records, birth certificates and any other documents that could form a comprehensive information dossier.

Be prepared

If a comprehensive parenting plan is prepared beforehand and is drafted with the children’s needs first and foremost it should then be submitted to the court along with the completed child custody forms and all documents agreed to by both parties to the divorce should have no trouble passing the court’s approval and thereby sparing a lot of grief and suffering for everyone involved. Furthermore the chance of interference by the court or any other government agency in matters of custody and decisions pertaining to your children is mitigated.

Judges traditionally prefer to let the divorcing parents decide matters of custody between themselves however, if the judge feels the children are not being served by indecision or continued bickering, they will not hesitate to step in. Make every effort not to let this happen. Even the best intentions of the court will usually fall short and most often make a bad situation worse.

It’s all about what’s best for the kids

Rise above your anger and hurt, keep it together long enough to deal with the matter of custody and try to put a parenting plan in place.  You may be surprised to find the whole process becomes easier.

For more helpful information on custody and other related forms go HERE