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One of the most sensitive issues you need to work through during a divorce is child custody and visitation. Child-related issues during a divorce may become contentious if you do not have proper expectations.

The preferred course of action for parents is to agree on who gets custody and how the time between them splits. A parenting plan may prove tricky to create if you do not have a foundation upon which to build. Learn some of the elements you should include in an effective parenting plan.

Legal custody

A parenting plan sets out who has the right to make decisions for the children. This includes things such as:

  • Education
  • Religious preference
  • Medical care
  • Extra-curricular activities

While the court may want to give both parents joint legal custody, it will not always. Judges put the children’s best interests ahead of all else when considering legal custody.

Physical custody

Physical custody is the time each parent spends with the children. A parenting plan sets a schedule to illustrate where the children will live at any given time in a year. The more comprehensive the schedule, the easier it is to follow. The time-sharing portion of the parenting plan should evolve as the children grow and their needs change.

Conflict process

You and your ex may disagree on parenting issues after your divorce. The parenting plan should include a process to follow should conflicts arise. This may address anything from sending an email to the other parent or utilizing a third party as a go-between for disputes.

The most important thing to remember is that compromising will facilitate a quicker resolution to your divorce. Coming up with something that works well for your family helps your children move on in a better emotional state.


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