When couples with children part ways, they will typically face many important decisions. How will child custody be arranged? What decisions are worthy of discussion, and how will resolutions be reached? Who will shoulder what costs related to child-rearing? In Maryland family law, an effective parenting plan can help resolve many of these issues.
A parenting plan is a very important document for parents who break up. Here are some of the issues which such a plan should address:
It is important to note that parenting time involves far more than just the percentage of the time one parent or the other has the children. The plan should address the typical rotation, the allocation of holidays, and if exceptions will be made for certain events like family reunions or vacations. It may also include clauses stipulating whether the other parent should have “first right of refusal” for providing childcare if the custodial parent is unable to provide care during his or her allotted time.
A good parenting plan tries to see around the corner and resolve issues before they arise. Of course, it’s impossible to plan for every future scenario. Medical and educational decisions are two areas that can require in-the-moment choices. To prepare for these situations, having a plan about how these issues should be worked out is key.
A parenting plan can also help to set the tone for a civil future relationship by requiring parents to communicate in a certain way, such as through a co-parenting app and/or shared calendar. A good parenting plan can be the basis of a positive co-parenting relationship. Even if the relationship history is rocky, clear expectations that reflect the desires of both parties can make all the difference. Parenting plans are critical documents in a separation, and it can prove beneficial to work through this process with a Maryland family lawyer.