Divorce will change just about every aspect of your life. From your finances to your relationship with your children, you will have to adjust and make new circumstances work well for your family. This can be complicated and emotionally challenging, especially for the youngest members of your family.
To minimize the negative impact that a divorce can have on children, Indiana parents may try and craft a parenting plan out of court. This option allows you to have more control over the terms of your custody order, giving you the ability to ensure the terms suit the needs of your unique family. When creating a parenting plan, it is beneficial to consider the long-term sustainability of your terms and how to make it work well for every member of the family.
Points for consideration
Child custody is one of the most difficult things to resolve in any divorce. Even if you and your spouse resolve to deal with this matter amicably, it is still an emotional issue. It is not easy to address things that will impact the time you have with your kids and the role you will have in their lives. The terms of your parenting plan matter as they will affect your family for years to come.
There is a lot at stake when negotiating a parenting plan. With this in mind, it is in your interests to make your agreement as thorough as possible. Depending on the needs of your family and your schedule, it is helpful to include the following in your parenting plan:
- How the two parents will split time and how children will go back and forth between homes
- Procedures for dropping off and picking up kids from the other parent's house
- How the parents will make important decisions for their kids in the future, which is legal custody
- How and when children will have access to extended members of the family, such as grandparents, cousins and others
- What parents will do when there is an unexpected situation or dispute they need to resolve
Every family is different, and the terms you will need to include in your plan depend on your goals, your kids' needs and other things that are unique to your family. Before you agree to any terms or make any choices that will impact the future of your family, you may want to first talk with an experienced family law attorney regarding your legal options.