Regardless of whether you and your spouse are getting along, you will want to protect your kids during your divorce. It’s in your children’s best interests to consider your long-term arrangements before submitting your proposed parenting plan to a court.
Think about the detailed schedules for each child, including periods of residential versus nonresidential parental responsibility. Unless there’s a distinct possibility that either of your actions will be harmful to your children, the court will generally expect both of you to have stable and continuing involvement in their lives.
Your parenting plan must include specific information to show that you’re focusing on the welfare of your kids. For example, the court may expect you to provide detailed information about:
- Primary custody
- Day-to-day scheduling
- Holidays and non-school days
- Health and dental insurance coverage
- Child support amount and payment schedule
- Transportation and exchanges between parents
- Claiming the children for tax purposes
- Handling potential disputes
You must also specify who will be responsible for making decisions about religious teachings, education and medical attention.
What’s best for the kids?
Among the factors you specify, a court will consider the children’s relationships with each parent, your ability to provide love, affection and guidance, as well as your capacity to meet the developmental needs of your kids.
Adjusting to life after divorce is undoubtedly difficult for children and adults alike. However, preparing for the future can go a long way in providing a sense of security for your children while minimizing the animosity between you and your soon-to-be ex.