While divorce closes one chapter in your life, you will find that it also begins a new one. New beginnings often bring change, especially for parents. Choosing to end a marriage is a big decision and the element of not knowing how often you will see you children can add more stress.
What can help you find some peace is a good parenting plan. A parenting plan allows you and your co-parent to collaborate on a fair visitation schedule. If a court awards you joint custody, there are several aspects you will want to consider. These areas include:
- Where does your child lives and when? While you think who gets what weekends, considering which parent your child spends birthdays, holidays and other special occasions with is worth thinking of ahead of time.
- What happens if a parent breaks the agreement? Hopefully you never need to use this section, but having both parties agree on the consequences may deter someone from breaking the agreement.
- Who has decision-making powers? This can be a challenging subject for parents and a potential sore spot. Whether it’s one or both parents, it’s crucial to determine in advance who makes important decisions for the child including health, education and religion.
- How will you resolve conflicts? Despite having a plan in place, there’s still the chance for conflict. Agreeing on how you settle those differences can help set expectations so no one is surprised by the resolution process.
Connecticut law makes it easier on divorcing parents by having courts enter these agreements with a child custody order. The planning stage is your opportunity to set expectations and add some predictability to your new chapter in life.