Going through a divorce is not an easy process, especially if there are children involved. Parents are often concerned about details involving the best interests of the child and may forget about all of their options when it comes to creating a parenting plan. You may feel overwhelmed when faced with the daunting task of customizing a plan, as the details of the plan may seem set indefinitely in a binding contract that cannot be modified. The truth is, however, that parenting plans can be modified throughout the years as life circumstances change.
There are several factors to consider when creating a plan that fits your situation. These include the following:
- The children’s ages and whether they are in school
- The location of each parent, their neighborhood and school district they live in
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The occupation, health status and mental health of each parent
- Parent’s ability to provide for the child, including educational, emotional, financial and medical care
If the case goes to court, the judge presiding over the case will consider which parent played the role of primary caretaker over the course of the child’s life. The judge will also look for signs of domestic violence or abuse with either parent. Although keeping the child in a stable and routine environment is important, it is also crucial that the child spend a significant amount of time with each parent. Studies show that when kids are able to spend time with both their mother and father, they fair better.