Pennsylvania parents know that divorce is difficult and complex, but it does not always have to result in a stressful court battle. Some parents find it beneficial to draft a parenting plan out of court, a step that will allow you have more control over the details of your final custody and visitation order.
If you are drafting a parenting plan, it is wise to take steps to ensure that the decisions you make will be beneficial for years to come. It is easy to be swept up in the emotions that come with the end of a marriage, but it is prudent to consider what would be best for both your short-term interests and the long-term needs of you and your children.
Keep control over your final custody order
Some parents choose to draft a custody plan out of court. This option will allow you to consider certain issues that may be unique to your family, as well as have more control over your custody order. Drafting a parenting plan requires that you address important issues that will impact your children and include them in your parenting plan. As you consider your agreement, you would be wise to carefully and thoughtfully address the following:
- Which parent will maintain physical custody
- Visitation schedules and the procedures of handing off the children to the other parent
- Holiday visitation and access to extended family members, such as grandparents
- How parents will address major life events such as birthdays, holidays and school functions
- Procedures for addressing significant changes and disputes that may arise in the future
One of the most beneficial things you can do as a parent is to carefully consider how your choices will impact your children. The ultimate goal of any parenting plan, visitation schedule and custody order is to protect the interests of the youngest members of the family.
It is still important to have help
Even if you and your spouse decide to keep your custody order out of court and work on a suitable parenting plan through negotiations and discussions, you will still benefit from having support and guidance.
You have the right to pursue a final custody order that is both beneficial for your children and allows for the protection of your parental rights. You may find it helpful to seek a complete evaluation of your case before you draft a parenting plan or agree to any terms.