As you prepare for divorce, you know that there are many challenges ahead for you. One of most complex issues in many divorces pertains to child custody, and you may be wondering how you can minimize the negative impact that the end of your marriage will have on your child. One of the ways you can do this is with a thoughtful, carefully crafted parenting plan.
When Pennsylvania parents divorce, they have options other than to let an impersonal family law court decide how child custody and visitation will work for their family. You have the right to work with your spouse to craft a custody plan that will work for your family long-term, providing security and stability for the kids.
What's in a custody plan?
Above all else, a custody plan should protect the best interests of the children. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to these issues, and you would be wise to carefully consider what would be best long-term, not just temporarily. Some of the important factors of any good custody or parenting plan include the following:
- Visitation schedules and hand-off procedures between parents
- Holiday visitation, school breaks and summer vacations
- Which parent will have legal custody, which is decision-making authority
- Process for how future disputes and complications will be resolved
- Procedures of visitation with extended family, such as grandparents and cousins
When you keep the needs of the children above any emotions you may feel about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you will be able to make decisions that eventually lead to a workable, reasonable outcome to your custody concerns.
Even if you choose to work on your custody plan through discussions and negotiations, you are still entitled to take steps to protect your parental rights. You may do this by reaching out for guidance as you work through custody issues and visitation matters.
A future that works for everyone
Divorce is difficult, but that does not mean that you cannot seek and obtain a final custody order that allows every member of the family to have a strong post-divorce future. Before you reach any agreement pertaining to child custody, you may find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of your parental rights and options.
Whatever your objectives are regarding custody and visitation, you would be wise to work proactively to shield your kids from unnecessary duress, as well as protect your role as an active and loving parent.