Parents who come to a parenting schedule by deciding together or through mediation may have a better chance of making that plan work throughout the child’s life. This is because a child will have different needs as an infant, as a toddler and as he or she grows up. During the teenage years, children tend to want to spend more time with friends and less time with parents.
However, when a parenting plan is created through the court, one or both parents may be locked into that schedule. In some cases, it is because they do not want to go through another legal battle. Therefore, parents may spare themselves a lot of stress and drama while looking out for the child’s best interests by keeping a parenting plan somewhat vague.
For instance, a child could choose to stay closer to where he or she goes to school if there is an school event or if the child needs to be up early to do homework. Creating a flexible plan means that a parent never has to be away from his or her children for long periods of time. It also allows parents to create a common sense plan that works for them as opposed to living their life according to a piece of paper.
As part of the divorce process, a judge may order parents to work out a parenting plan with the help of a mediator. Parents may also decide to create a plan on their own or with the help of a neutral third-party. However, it may be a good idea to talk with an attorney regardless of whether a divorce is amicable or being contested in court. The attorney may explain how the law works for parents who share custody in order to make it easier for parents to make a proper co-parenting plan.