Avoid these mistakes when making a parenting plan

If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you must continue to cooperate if you have minor children together. In Pennsylvania, the parenting plan will establish a custody schedule, detail agreements about raising your children and indicate your chosen method of alternative dispute resolution for conflicts.

You may have to go back to court to update a parenting plan, so make sure your agreement works for your family by avoiding these common mistakes.

Vague Schedule

The parenting plan should spell out when your child will be with each parent. Conflict can arise when a plan simply indicates “reasonable visitation” without a set schedule. In addition to weekdays and weekends, address school vacations and holidays. Look at a sample parenting plan if you need guidance.

Lack of Relocation Provisions

Pennsylvania is a large state. If your child’s other parent wants to move out of the county or region, how will that affect the custody schedule? Your parenting plan can limit either parent from moving outside a specific geographic area with the child. If either of you wants to move later, you must go back to court and ask permission.

Missing Decision Details

Even if your child is very young, he or she will eventually need braces, activity fees, sports equipment and field trip money. Many families also worry about paying for child care expenses, private school or college after a divorce. Spell out how your family will handle these items in your parenting plan.

You and your spouse can create a parenting plan together and submit it to the court for approval. If you cannot agree, the judge will decide on your behalf.



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