When parents face divorce, their top priority will be how to help their children adjust to the split and transition to the new family order.
Creating a parenting plan that works for everyone is the first step, but it must contain everything that Arizona law requires.
Parenting plan basics
You and your spouse may develop a parenting plan as part of the divorce mediation process. According to Arizona law, your plan must include:
– designation of joint or sole decision-making rights
– responsibilities for deciding matters of school, health care and religion
– child exchange process, including times
– parenting time schedule including school and holiday schedules
Explain your plan for making financial decisions as well as specific parenting responsibilities. For example, state who stays home to care for a sick child, who takes the children to medical and dental appointments, who takes them to extracurricular activities and goes on school field trips with them.
Your parenting plan should also contain information as to how you and the other parent propose to address issues involving the children. Before the judge signs off on your parenting plan to make it a court order, he or she will want to know how you will communicate with each other about the children. A timetable for reevaluating the plan and making any needed changes is also important to include.
A look ahead
As divorced parents, you will not always agree on child-raising procedures. So, in times of stress, you might think of working with your former spouse as a business arrangement with the objective being the best interests of your children. The parenting plan you create together will ease much of the tension and provide guidelines that will help you achieve co-parenting success.