How to Create a Parenting Plan That Best Suits Your Lifestyle While Keeping Your Child Happy

One of the great unknowns with a child custody case is what the end result will look like. You may have heard in movies or from your friends that very often one parent will have the child during the week while the other parent is the “weekend parent.” What if you don’t want to only see your child on the weekends? Or what if you work all week and would rather have some weekend time with your child?

If you need help with child custody in Missouri, call us at (573) 995-4077.

1. Think it Through.

In Missouri, a parenting plan is effective from the time it is adopted by the court until the child reaches the age of 18 or is emancipated. Depending on the age of your child when a custody agreement is drafted, you could be subject to that agreement for many years. Therefore, it is important to consider how your life may evolve and change during the course of the agreement.

For example, will you always work a job with standard hours, or do you foresee yourself working for yourself one day with a more flexible schedule? Adding provisions that allow for the parties to stipulate to amend the physical custody can alleviate a lot of undue stress in the future.

2. Consider the Different Seasons.

Are you the type of person that lives for that summer vacation to the gulf of Mexico each year, but you worry that after your divorce you may not be able to bring your kids? Well, time for summer vacations is a common part of parenting plans. Many parenting plans will typically provide each party with an uninterrupted period of a week or two to take a vacation.

On the other hand, if you always take a week to visit your family over the holidays and want to bring the kids for that trip each year, make sure you put that in the proposed parenting plan. The point here is when you get divorced or enter into a custody agreement, it can be easy to overlook an event that is six months away.

If a certain annual event is important to you, do yourself a favor and put it in writing. The last thing you want to do is fight each holiday season or leave your kids behind for a family getaway.

3. Consider your Day-to-Day.

Do you get up far before the sun rises and typically stop working when the sun sets? Are you an entrepreneur, nurse, or medical professional that works long hours during the week? If this sounds like you, it may be in your best interest and your child’s best interest for your child to spend weekdays with their mom or dad so that you can take designated days off for fun activities with kiddo on the weekends.

Also, consider your commute. If you drive an hour plus to work, and adding in the drop-off and pick-up from school will add significant time to your drive, and stress to your life, consider letting your ex spend time with your child most days of the week. The point here is not to say that you should relinquish all time with the child, but you should consider the amount of quality time you have with the child.

Along the same lines, if you typically are an early riser, it may be a good idea to limit the times the other parent can contact the kiddo while they are with you. It is not uncommon for communication to be limited to 8 am-8 pm for example. You should not feel like the bad guy for intentionally avoiding potential issues like late phone calls disrupting bedtime.

4. Consider a Trial Period.

It is very common for family law cases to take several months to resolve. During that time, parties may enter into what is known as a Temporary Custody Agreement. A temporary agreement is often very useful. Parties can stipulate a custody arrangement that lasts for a month or two.

During that time, parties are able to get adjusted to the idea of co-parenting without their schedule being set in stone.

In conclusion, the importance of a parenting plan cannot be overstated. Take your time and consider all of the potential pros and cons of your chosen custody arrangement.

If you need help with child custody in Missouri, call us at (573) 995-4077.

The post "How to Create a Parenting Plan that Best Suits your Lifestyle while Keeping your Child Happy" appeared first on Loraine Law Center, LLC.

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