Getting a divorce can be difficult enough, but for many parents, the divorce itself is not the hardest part. When divorcing parents have children together, decisions must be made regarding that child’s care.

Parents often create parenting plans collaboratively. The input from both parents can help ensure the final parenting plan is in the child’s best interests. However, parents are sometimes unable to reach an agreement. When this occurs, parents may each submit a parenting plan with the court, and the court will decide what would be best for the child.

A good parenting plan may need to address over a dozen questions

A thorough parenting plan typically proposes solutions to numerous questions. Some details you may want to incorporate in your parenting plan, include:

  • Where you think your child should live
  • Who you think should have a say in important parenting decisions
  • Where you currently live and where you plan to live over the next two years
  • Where and when you work
  • What child care you plan to use and how you plan to pay for it
  • What school you think your child should attend
  • Where you want your child to receive medical care, if needed
  • How you plan to pay for medical expenses
  • If a certain religion is to play a part in your child’s upbringing
  • If your child’s routine will change over the summer or on holidays
  • If and how your child can contact a parent when in the other parent’s custody
  • How you intend to resolve disagreements regarding decisions that you must make with the other parent

Including possible solutions to a variety of questions can make for a thorough parenting plan, but that alone may not be enough to make a parenting plan good. Every child’s needs and every family’s situation can be unique. The best parenting plans are often personalized and include solutions that prioritize the child’s best interests, so the child can have the best possible outcomes in the family’s current situation.