Parenting Plan Decision-Making
Preparation of Parenting Plan Mediation Part One
The parenting plan is not just fordivorcing parties. It is for parties that have joint children together, and/orgrandparents that have an interest in raising grandchildren. I will provideinformation through a series of blogs on how to approach the parenting plan indetail. This is a limited look into my experience as a child focused mediator.
First, do not forget to breathe. The plan is set up for the children, the parenting plan isdesigned to offer the structure for the parents to support the children. Theparenting plan is the default for when structure is needed. IE: duringconflict. The other caveat is depending on how new the separation is foreveryone it might benefit the children to have the structure in place to followthe plan more closely.
It is sometimes difficult tocomprehend how the picture is going to look moving forward because your history.These are new times and putting on the proverbial thinking cap is probablygoing to address the children better than just the way that it was done before.In a healthy way, having a more collaborative approach to raising the kids whenpossible is best.
The items that are the focal pointfor the process are as follows:
Allocation of ParentalResponsibilities, (APR). Formerly known as “custody”.
Physical address for the children.
This function addresses a place to send mail. It establishes little else.
There are a few big buckets for this category:
medical including; dental, mental health
extracurricular activities; recreational clubs, sports, and after-school activities.
The above is the decision-making part of the process. Not the monetary aspect. That is handled later in the plan.
The day to day decisions that arehandled in each parent’s home is not typically dealt with within this section.It may be wise to talk about the below items to diffuse conflict later. Piercings,tattoos, hair care (cuts, color), smoking, and hygiene the list goes on and on.
Questions you will need to think about:
- Do you communicate well together sort of or not at all?
- How have you handled decisions in the past with the other parent?
- Are you both able to put the children first?
- A history of collaboration, non-collaboration or something in between regarding the decisions affecting the children?
All About The Littles Stuck In The Middle.™