During the divorce process, South Carolina parents will need to discuss issues related to child custody. As part of this step, they will want to create a parenting plan. Traditionally, the plan has been about the schedule: however, a more efficient one that supports successful co-parenting during and after divorce is quite a bit more detailed.
Parenting plan basics
At its most basic form, a parenting plan will establish each parent’s time with their children. It will focus on a schedule that shows how much time a child will spend with each parent and when and where the parents will switch off. It might also set general rules for holidays, birthdays, vacations and other special events.
A thoughtful parenting plan
A thoughtful child custody and visitation plan includes a lot more than the parenting schedule. Based on the parents’ and children’s work, school and activities schedules, interests and the family’s specific needs, a detailed plan can include:
- Which parent will be responsible for important documents and for speaking with doctors, school administrators and other related professionals
- The rules and routines that will be jointly followed in both households
- How parents will communicate with their children when they are with the other parent
- How relationships with extended family members will be supported by each parent
- The way parents will communicate with each other as they co-parent their children
- How and when parents will introduce new relationships to the children
- The methods to resolve any issues that come up in the future
While parenting plans are usually part of the final divorce settlement, they are also documents that need to be flexible in nature as the needs and interests of the members of the family change. A detailed, yet flexible, parenting plan will support parents and ensure that they can continue to nurture their children as they grow.