It is more common than ever for both parents to share in parenting responsibilities after divorce. As such, many parents across Colorado will find themselves making decisions together and splitting custody for several years.
In these situations, fights and disagreements can arise. To resolve these difficult matters and prevent them from causing unnecessary strain, you should have in place a solid parenting plan that provides valuable direction. Below are some tips on what this entails.
- Breakdown of schedules-Your parenting plan should list the days each parent will have the child. It should also address summer vacations, holidays and birthdays. As you can see in this example of a parenting plan, you should specify whether you will alternate years or if the plan will be the same for all years.
- Explanations of decision-making authority-Note in your parenting plan who can make decisions for a child. This includes medical, religious and educational decisions as well as day-to-day decisions.
- Instructions for resolving disputes-Fights often arise when parents are raising children separately but together. Rather than ignore this possibility, you can provide direction for how to resolve disputes. For instance, you might specify that any custody disputes will be resolved with a mediator.
- Clear guidelines and restrictions-If you have strong feelings about things like setting rules, disciplining and introducing a child to new partners, then you can think about including them in your parenting plan. Doing so can ensure parents are on the same page about various parenting decisions.
- Child support and other financial obligations-You will also want to note any child support obligations in your parenting plan. If there are any additional expenses related to your child, you can include those as well.
These critical elements can provide clarity and direction as you begin the challenge of sharing parenting responsibilities after divorce, and you should be prepared to discuss these matters as well as any others that may apply in your situation. If you have any questions or concerns about specific aspects of your plan, you can discuss them with an attorney.