Divorce is difficult for everyone, and it can be especially difficult for the children. Whether you are in mediation or going through the collaborative process, if you have children you will need to decide how you and their other parent will care for them. Through discussion and guidance with your mediator or collaborative attorneys, together with a mental health practitioner, you can create a parenting plan that works for your family.
Your Parenting Plan will resolve:
- PARENTING TIME AND THE CHILDREN’S LIVING SITUATIONS: How will the map of weekly, vacation, holidays, birthdays and other family days be handled? What schedule can you devise for the children’s time in each household? Where childcare is still necessary, how will it be managed under the changed circumstances?
- DECISION-MAKING: What system can you devise for medical, educational, religious and extra-curricular decisions to be made?
- GEOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Will it be necessary to restrict distant relocations? If a relocation of a parent is allowed, what is necessary to maintain access to schools, both parents, etc. and to remove any element of surprise?
- CREATION OF NEW RELATIONSHIPS: When and how would a new partner be introduced to the children?
- GRANDPARENTS AND OTHER IN-LAWS: How will the children’s relationship with extended family be maintained? Will other family members be involved in childcare?
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT: How will the children continue to be supported? What plans can be created for their anticipated future needs, and how should the future financial issues be handled?
- CONTINUATION OF THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP ACROSS THE HOUSEHOLDS: How can your homes be set up so that the children feel comfortable loving and expressing their love for both parents enabling the bond of parenting to continue?
- FUTURE COMMUNICATIONS: How can past conflicts be avoided in day-to-day and long-term management of discussions regarding parental matters? How can both parents preserve the children’s rights to fully love both parents? What mechanisms are necessary to protect the children from being forced into taking sides and hearing denigrations of the other parent? How can both parents continue fully being parents in the climate of divorce?