Essential Components of an Effective Parenting Plan

Effective parenting plans are ones that prevent future disputes, serve the child’s best interests, and support the child’s strong, healthy relationship with each parent. A parenting plan should also provide a positive, predictable framework for daily life, which helps the child feel secure and nurtured. Even if the parents are involved in a relatively non-contentious divorce, they’ll need legal representation. A family law attorney can draft the parenting plan or review an existing parenting plan, and negotiate for changes as needed.

Civil Communication

Children benefit when their parents communicate civilly with each other on a regular basis. Parents need to provide each other with their updated phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contact information at work. The parenting plan should specify that each person is responsible for updating the other parent about all of the changes that affect the child, such as new immunizations, behavioral problems, grades, and school pictures. If the child is an infant or toddler, it’s advisable for parents to keep one logbook that they exchange back and forth with the child. This is an easy way to share information about issues like naptime and the child’s appetite.

Predictable Schedule

Parenting plans should be specific when outlining the schedule. It should state the exact days of the week and times the child will be with either parent. Here’s an example of a visitation schedule that specifies the days and times the child will be with the noncustodial parent:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 3:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Second and fourth weekend of every month: Friday from 5:00pm to Sunday at 5:00pm
  • Second and fourth weeks of every July and August: Friday from 5:00pm to the following Friday at 5:00pm

Special Occasions

Parenting plans need to accommodate special occasions, including holidays and birthdays. Parents may choose to split up the days. The child would be with one parent until the afternoon, and with the other parent the rest of the day. Or, they may choose to alternate holidays each year. The child could be with the mother on Christmas Eve and the father on Christmas on even-numbered years, and vice versa for odd-numbered years.

It’s tough to think of every clause you’ll need in a parenting plan to protect your child’s well-being. That’s why Singer & Associates provides hands-on, collaborative negotiation services for individuals who need a parenting plan. Call our father’s rights law office in Sacramento, CA at (916) 922-5985.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Singer & Associate Law Office, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

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