Five Tips For Creating Effective Parenting Plans

At Canfield Madow Law Group, PLLC, we are passionate about helping parents in Snohomish, Skagit and King counties develop effective parenting plans. Following are five points to consider:

1. Put The Kids First

Emotions can run high in divorce or custody cases. It's easy for parents to succumb to feelings of animosity toward each other and lose sight of the children's best interests. Don't let that happen to you. Determine that the parenting plan you create will truly reflect what's best for your kids, regardless of how you may feel about the other parent.

2. Think Outside The Box

Back in the day, parenting time was called "visitation," and it was often granted according to a set formula: One parent (usually the father) got the kids one night per week and every other weekend.

Today, such formulaic schedules are far less common. The arrangement that suits your unique situation may be completely different. This is often the case when one parent is in the military, has a job that involves significant travel, etc.

4. Ask The Right Questions

When it comes to time-sharing, it's essential that you address all the important details. Here are a few of many questions to ask:

  • Who will pick up and drop off the child?
  • What happens if the parent picking up the child is late? Does he or she forfeit that scheduled time?
  • Which parent will take time off work if the child becomes ill?
  • Are certain holidays more important to one parent than to the other?
  • Will both parents be allowed to attend the child's birthday parties, school events, etc.?
  • How will the schedule change during the child's summer break from school?
  • Should either parent be allowed to take the child on extended vacations?
  • When will the child have a chance to spend time with grandparents or other relatives?

4. Consider It Carefully

Don't be too hasty when developing or agreeing to a parenting plan. After it is approved by the court, it may not be easy to change. You will typically need to submit a formal modification request, which may or may not be approved.

5. Get A Strong Advocate On Your Side

If the other parent is unwilling to agree to a parenting plan that meets your child's needs, get a skilled lawyer on your side. Let the Washington attorneys of Canfield Madow Law Group, PLLC, provide the vigorous advocacy you need. Call us at 425-312-1870 or email us to set up a consultation.