A custody plan is a plan depicting how parents agree to ‘restructure’ their involvement within their child’s (or children’s) lives. Also known as a parenting plan, a custody plan usually arranges a child’s (or children’s) schedule and determines which parents are responsible for specific aspect of their child’s life.
It’s the responsibility of the judge to determine which parent takes legal custody and physical custody of their child (or children). During this process, they also arrange the legal and physical arrangements for the children. Parenting plans typically address the needs of their children, especially if they’re of different ages. Sometimes, the entire parenting plan needs changes to accommodate changes in one or both of the parent’s lives.
Creating an amicable parenting plan can be a difficult process for separated or divorcing spouses. As long as both parties are willing to resolve their issues and work with the best interests of their children in mind, establishing a parenting plan isn’t difficult.
Creating a parenting plan
Creating a parenting plan, especially under traditional custody, can get tricky. Traditional custody arrangements are usually single parent custody arrangements where only one parent hold physical and legal custody over their child (or children). The prospect of sole custody is what can muddle a parenting plan between both parties.
Though, creating a suitable parenting plan is doable, despite the prospect of sole custody. Both parents, however, need to work together.
Some resources suggest to avoid using ‘custody’ and ‘visitation’ to refer to a single parent (the one with custody rights) during the planning process. That helps keep relations between both parties amicable.
The age of each child in the family plays a large role in developing a parenting plan. It has a lot to do with how children behave when ‘shuffled’ back and forth between parents on a regular basis.
Younger children below age four don’t respond well to constant home changes. They need a more stable environment to grow. Both parents should arrange to leave their child with the custodial parent and have the other parent visit on occasion. Children four and up can handle an alternating schedule between parents, though it depends on the child.
Teenagers usually have a say in what kind of arrangements they would like, so it’s important to involve teens in the planning process. Like younger children, the arrangements that both parties do plan varies on what the teen wants or can potentially handle on a regular basis.
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