The benefits of thinking about a parenting plan

When North Carolina parents who have young children go through a divorce, they may think a parenting plan is just another piece of paperwork to complete. However, these plans can have value when parents take the time to consider what will happen with their children once a marriage ends.

Ideally, a parenting plan serves as a guide to assist with scheduling and the changing needs of a child. In most cases, parents share legal custody. This means both parents have an input on major decisions while each parent makes day-to-day choices when having physical custody. In regards to physical custody, the parenting plan shows how a child’s time will be split between the parents.

Both parents likely need to work together and compromise to form a mutually beneficial arrangement, and this may be the best way to prevent or minimize conflict and the negative aspects of a divorce that children experience. The parenting plan presents an opportunity to identify and solve possible issues without court intervention.

If problems do arise during co-parenting, a detailed plan that considers the challenges a couple may face helps stop arguments as parents can turn to their agreed-upon plan instead of fighting. This gives parents a chance to focus on what they agreed on when they were in a more rational mindset.

Those going through a divorce may have trouble communicating with a spouse when making important decisions like those concerning a child or children. Using mediation or negotiation might help partners reach decisions that work well for everyone involved. When possible, using alternatives to the court process could allow both parents more control and freedom than when a judge makes determinations. Both parties should have separate legal representation throughout the process.