When a Tennessee couple decides to move forward with divorce, it can have a significant impact on the youngest members of the family. You may want to shield your children from any negative or adverse effects, and one way you can do this is by drafting a strong parenting plan together with the other parent.
When it comes to child custody, it is not always easy to work with the other parent to resolve disputes and come to smart decisions. However, many parents find they can set temporary emotions aside and work together in order to craft a plan that uniquely suits the needs of their family. The goal of any parenting plan is to protect the best interests of the children above all else.
How can you know if your parenting plan will work?
One of the smartest things you can do when working on a parenting plan together is to think about what will work best long-term. It is easy to think about how you feel in the moment, but focusing on the future can help you make decisions that will allow for stability and security. It can also greatly reduce the chance of continued conflict in the future.
A parenting plan will work best when it is thorough and thoughtful. It is in your interests and for the benefit of your children that you consider any issue that could affect your child at some point. Factors you may think about for your parenting plan include the following:
- A reasonable parenting time and visitation schedule
- Grandparent visitation and access to extended family members
- Decision-making authority for the children, known as legal custody
- Holiday visitation, summer schedule and vacations
- How parents will resolve any disputes that arise in the future
In some cases, parents may even want to consult with their children about their hopes for their post-divorce lives.
Protecting your parental rights
It is possible to protect your parental rights while also trying to reach reasonable custody solutions through a strong parenting plan. Before you sign an agreement or make any major decisions that could influence your kids’ future or your role as an active and loving parent, you may want to discuss your concerns with an experienced family law attorney.
Negotiating a parenting plan out of court will not work in every situation, but it may be an appropriate way for you to secure a final order that will work best for your kids and yourself.