Parents who separate will need to have a plan for deciding how their children will be cared for and where they will live or spend time. A parenting plan, also called a “custody and visitation agreement,” is the parents’ written agreement about time share and decision-making. With a written plan, you and your children will know what to expect and will have fewer conflicts about shared parenting time.
Opting for a parenting plan has several advantages over pursuing a court order for the following reasons:
- Control and Flexibility: When you and the other parent work together to draft a parenting plan, you have greater control over the terms and conditions of custody, visitation, and child support. This allows you to create arrangements tailored to your specific situation and your children’s needs. On the other hand, court orders can be more rigid and may not consider unique circumstances.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Pursuing court proceedings can be costly in terms of legal fees, court costs, and other associated expenses. Drafting a parenting plan involves fewer expenses, as it generally requires less time and effort from legal professionals. This cost savings can be particularly significant for both parties in the long run.
- Quicker Resolution: Court cases can be time-consuming and may lead to delays in finalizing child support and visitation modifications. Drafting a parenting plan can expedite the process, allowing you and the other parent to reach an agreement more swiftly and reduce potential conflicts.
- Maintaining a Positive Co-Parenting Relationship: Collaboratively creating a parenting plan fosters open communication between co-parents and promotes a healthier co-parenting relationship. This can be invaluable for the well-being of your children, as they benefit from reduced tension and increased cooperation between both parents.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: Court proceedings are public matters, and sensitive family details may become accessible to others. By opting for a parenting plan, you can keep personal matters confidential and avoid unnecessary exposure.