There are many changes that children face in their lives when their parent’s divorce, and these types of changes have the potential to be very damaging. Parents are responsible for the care of their children, and divorce does not lessen this responsibility. In fact, a divorce may increase those responsibilities to a divorcing couple’s children.

Divorce does not always cause two people to stop fighting, and even for those that had ´nicer´ divorces, a parenting plan will help keep things more civil, and that is much more psychologically healthy for children of divorced parents. How many go about this is by having a parenting plan that both agree to. Parenting plans cover many areas, such as which parent will pay for which costs, and when, visitation, vacation time, education, church attendance, grandparents´ visitation, child support, medical costs and health care issues, and so on.

This is a very important document, and while a parenting plan cannot foresee every type of situation, the basics of what can be foreseen now should be included, at a minimum. One thing to remember is that the avoidance of vague language, where one parent may interpret it as one thing, may leave the other parent at a disadvantage, causing him or her to seek redress in court again. Parenting plans have the immediate goal of keeping children in stable environments, and a secondary goal of keeping the parents out of the courtroom in the future.

With visitation, vague language needs to be avoided. Employment schedules of both parents needs to be taken into consideration, as well as schedules for school and other activities children are involved in. When these are not included, visitation schedules may not always work out well, creating conflicts between both parents, as well as with the children affected. Grandparents should not be excluded, particularly when one or both sets live in other locations and require extended travel for the children to visit with their grandparents.

Health care should be discussed, especially for emergency treatment, ongoing medical care needs, and the children´s well-child checkup information. Costs incurred should also be decided up front and included in the parenting agreement. Some areas in which there may be disputes, such as birth control for older teen daughters might need the input of a judge in order for the too parents to come to an agreement.

When there is a disagreement about the other parent honoring the parenting agreement, it is wise to maintain a civil demeanor when discussing it with the other parent. Not everything is grounds for filing for a modification. However, keeping track of the times when the other parent has broken the terms of the agreement is good to have, in case you do need to go to court again. Remember, raising children is difficult work, but it is very important. Having an attitude of forgivingness towards the other parent does your children no favors, but realizing honest mistakes will be made by the best of people, and that both parties will make mistakes at times will help your children cope better with your divorce in the long run.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack to help with child support and all of your custody issues.