Common Mistakes in Parenting Plans

The end of a marriage or relationship is difficult for everyone involved, including not only the direct parties but also the children and sometimes even the extended family and close friends.  The end of a relationship means that parents who share children will have to restructure their typical parenting approach to reflect the “new normal” of living in two different households.  With a divorce or custody action, the court will make a decision about parenting time and custody based on what is in the child’s best interest.  In the optimal situation, the parents can talk together and settle on the provisions for their parenting plan.  However, there are some common parenting plan mistakes you should be careful to avoid.

One important mistake to avoid is that your parenting plan should not be too vague.  While it is tempting to just say that you and your former spouse or partner will agree on the time and place to exchange a child, this can often create major problems later on.  Being specific in the everyday requirements on your plan can help you avoid conflict later, as it leaves no room for error.  Although you and your former spouse are always free to operate outside the order if you both agree, having specific exchange times or other standard provisions will give you something to fall back on in case you cannot come to an agreement.

The converse of creating a parenting plan that is too vague is to avoid creating a parenting plan that is too specific.  If you have a hard time coordinating with your co-parent, it may be tempting to schedule every moment of the child’s time and the parenting requirements.  This can end up going seriously wrong, however, as it could discourage flexibility.  Parents should understand that some flexibility will be required over the years, and having an overly specific parenting plan can discourage one or both parents from providing that cooperation.

Another mistake to avoid is waiving child support just to get the parenting plan settled.  Refusing child support may be a way to get your spouse to agree to give you the majority of time with the child or even sole custody, but if the result is that you are unable to provide the basics for your child, it can majorly backfire.  Moreover, a court is not obligated to approve a parenting plan that waives child support.  Accordingly, you could be signing a parenting plan that is not approvable by the court, resulting in a waste of time and money.

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We have extensive experience helping our clients with crafting parenting plans that work for their family.  Contact us today for a consultation to talk about your children.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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