Crafting a suitable parenting plan can go a long way in preventing controversies with the other parent. In fact, it can even save you money in the form of legal costs. Here are a few guides to help you come up with a viable parenting plan:
Plan for Special Events
Despite your best intentions, it will be impossible to craft a workable parenting plan that works for all occasions. For example, you can't predict when all the special occasions such as birthdays and Mother's Day/Father's Day will fall. What happens when a special event falls on a day of the week when you don't have the kid, but they need to spend it with you, (the reverse may also be true)?
Include Every Major Decision
You can't include all the possible issues in your child's life, but try to include all the major ones. Some of the things you must include are religion (which religious institution, if any, will the kid attend), school, discipline, expenses, curfew, and health care issues.
Be Reasonable with Your Demands
Making a parenting schedule isn't the time to flex your muscles or engage in competition with the other parent. People talk of 50-50 schedules, but that is a theoretical ideal that few people, if any, realize. In the real world, your schedules may not allow such an exact arrangement. Even if you make a 50/50 plan, something may crop up to disrupt your plans. Therefore, embrace flexibility right from the outset if you want your parenting plan to work.
Focus on the Children
Although a parenting plan will take parents' schedules into consideration, it is really the kids who should be the center of your attention. Therefore, if you have a situation where you either need to compromise the kid's well-being or compromise your schedule, then it's better to take the latter route. In fact, if you have older kids, it's advisable to listen to their input.
Be Ready for Modifications
Lastly, you ought to know that even the best parenting schedule you might come up with may require some modification somewhere down the line. Situations may change that require either of you to change your schedules, for example, when you are assigned different duties in work. Decide from the outset what you will do in such situations.
Hopefully, the points above will help you with your parenting plan and you won't come to a point where you need to seek legal address. If you do come to that point, however, a divorce attorney can help you preserve your legal rights.