When you opt for divorce, one of your main concerns will be to protect the best interests of your children. You understand that your personal decisions as an adult can significantly impact the youngest members of your family, and you want to do everything possible to minimize the negative effects of your divorce on the kids. One way you can do this is by drafting a strong and thoughtful parenting plan.
A parenting plan is a little different from a custody order in that it outlines how you and your spouse will want to parent together. This is a plan that works when two Alaska parents agree to work together for the benefit of their children. It is a personal and sometimes difficult process that requires both you and the other parent to set aside temporary emotions in order to parent well together for years to come.
Your plan will determine your kids’ future
You do not necessarily have to like or even get along with the other parent in order to follow a parenting plan together. You do, however, have to focus on what will be most beneficial for your kids. Some things to consider as you craft your parenting plan include:
- Communication will be key. Plan ways for you and the other parent to talk and make decisions together, as well as address any concerns that arise.
- Consider if you will share legal custody or if one of you will retain this right, which is the right to make important decisions on behalf of the kids.
- Outline procedures for things like drop-off, pick-up, changes in schedule and arrangement for transportation, as this can reduce your chance of conflict.
- Decide on child support now, as well as how you and the other parent will handle additional or unexpected expenses down the road.
These are a few important points, but this is not an exhaustive list of things you will want to consider as you try and develop a plan that suits the needs of your family.
Just like every family is different, every parenting plan should be different as well. If you are going through a divorce, custody litigation is never your only option. You can make a parenting plan that will provide your kids with both support and security, which is especially important during a time of transition. Even when working on a plan out of court, you still have the right to fight for your parental rights.