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Crafting parenting plan terms in anticipation of divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce and non-marital separation can be challenging processes, often particularly when children are involved. Crafting a parenting plan in anticipation of divorce can help ensure that the needs of children are prioritized and that the expectations and roles of both parents are clearly defined. 

In Georgia, these plans are mandatory when a child’s parents break up and both parents are going to remain in that child’s life. Ideally, a well-constructed parenting plan provides stability and clarity, minimizing the risk of potential conflicts and promoting a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

Key elements of a parenting plan

One of the primary reasons that co-parents tend to fight is that expectations for their shared situation have not been properly clarified. Constructing a comprehensive parenting plan can help to address that concern head-on. Some of the most common expectations outlined in parenting plans include the following, and should be considered if you and your child’s other parent are going your separate ways:

  • Living arrangements: Clearly define the primary residence of the children and outline your parenting time schedule. This schedule should be detailed, covering weekdays, weekends, holidays and vacations. A realistic need for some flexibility should be incorporated to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
  • Decision-Making authority: Specify how decisions regarding the children’s education, healthcare, extracurricular activities and religious upbringing will be made. You and your ex can share joint decision-making responsibilities or designate specific areas to each parent. Clear guidelines on how to handle disagreements should also be included.
  • Communication protocols: Establish how you and your ex will communicate with each other and the children. This includes methods (e.g., phone calls, emails, text messages) and frequency of communication. Guidelines for discussing important matters and updating each other on the children’s well-being are going to be important when it comes to maintaining a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

A comprehensive plan leaves little room for misinterpretation and reduces the likelihood of disputes. To get started, consider seeking personalized guidance and feedback unique to your circumstances.