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Elements of an Effective Parenting Plan

Elements of an Effective Parenting Plan

In the state of Ohio, there is a strong preference in the family court system that parents who are living apart nevertheless work together to form a parenting plan as a part of their divorce/dissolution. The parenting plan includes agreeing on the details of the residence and financial support of their minor children. The plan should also include determining how the parents intend to generally make decisions on behalf of their children.

While you are creating your parenting plan, here are some suggestions to help you succeed in giving your children the best of your intentions:

Create stability

Establish a sense of residency for your children. Give them a feeling that they live somewhere, even if they split their time between parents. Divide up vacation and holiday time so that each parent has some fun and some day-to-day parenting time. If one parent is less familiar with the child’s schedule and daily contacts, make a list and attach it to the plan. Provide as much consistency in the child’s daily and weekly routine as possible.

Include flexibility

Allow for the possibility that both parents and children sometimes have their routine disrupted. Create a system of communication around changes, including a method of notifying the other parent of any upcoming changes, as well setting a preferred amount of days for advance notice.

Anticipate change

Children grow quickly and their needs change constantly. Include a schedule for reviewing and modifying your parenting plan on a regular basis.

Focus on the children

Keep in mind that the judge is not likely to approve a parenting plan that does not reflect the children’s best interests. Maintain a sense of duty to the comfort, well being and mental health of the children when making decisions on their behalf.

If the parents are unable to reach a parenting agreement, the court can interview the minor children in order to determine their preferences and/or appoint a guardian ad litem to evaluate the homes and make a recommendation to the court. Ask your divorce attorney about the possibility of using mediation to help you create a working parenting plan. Call the Dayton offices of Fox & Associates C.O., L.P.A. at (937) 204-1555 or contact us online.

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