Key elements of a parenting plan

A promotion to a high level position may be the professional chance of a life of a lifetime. But like the old adage says, what you gain professionally you may lose emotionally; meaning that your professional ascent may lead to the demise of a marriage.

Indeed, it is not supposed to happen like this, and life certainly isn’t fair. After all, you should not be penalized and forced to take less time with your children because of the demands of your work schedule. This is especially applicable to physicians, firefighters, engineers and pilots who work hectic, inflexible and demanding schedules. 

Because of this a parenting plan is invaluable for securing time with your children. This post will highlight the basics of such a plan.

Detailed schedule – As the name suggests, a parenting plan sets out the schedule for when the children will spend time with you at your home, as well as when they will spend time with your ex. A parenting plan goes beyond the standard “reasonable parenting time” and identifies specific days and hours where you will be granted time. The benefit of having details ironed out beforehand is to give children the predictability they need in order to be comfortable with travelling between two homes.

Contingency plans – The adage “if you prepare for the worst, you can expect the best” is more than just a motivational saying. A parenting plan can include contingency plans in the event you are not able to exercise parenting time on a particular occasion. After all, court orders do not plan for emergency situations or for instances where a parent is unexpectedly unavailable. So putting “Plan B’s” in writing is helpful for when the unexpected happens.

Dispute resolution process – When disputes occur (and they are certain to happen) it is also helpful to have a process in place to resolve them without going back to court and seeking a legal remedy. Whether this includes going to mediation or relying on a parenting time expeditor, having a written dispute resolution process is an important part of a parenting plan.

If you have additional questions about parenting plans and how they are put together, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

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Traci Hutton, Attorney At Law - Family Law Attorney

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