In order for children to grow up healthy, they need stability. Washington parents who have divorced and who are constantly fighting with each other over how to raise the kids need some guidelines. There are several factors to consider when you’re drafting a parenting plan.
You should think about exceptions to each suggested time-sharing schedule, such as birthdays, holidays and vacations. Some people find spending time with their child on a holiday as important. Certain holidays may be more meaningful than others to you or your ex-spouse. It’s important to discuss what’s important to each of you, then negotiate a plan that works for both of you. Remember to also consider how your children will feel too. If your kids are old enough, you could ask them what their preferences are for holidays and birthdays.
Child’s best interests
You want your child to feel happy with the co-parenting plan. Washington law also requires that you make decisions based on the child’s best interests. When a judge evaluates a parenting plan, they ask if it’s in the best interests of the child. You should take into consideration their extracurricular activities and distances of your homes from their school and activities. Ideally, you don’t want to live too far away from the other parent to make life easier on your child.
No matter how much time you spend on crafting the perfect parenting plan, there may come a time when you’re faced with an issue that isn’t in the plan. Thus, you and your ex-spouse need to lay out how you will resolve potential conflicts and what process you’ll go through to revise and update the plan.
Changeable as the child ages
If you have a young child, then their needs are going to change over time. Young children usually need more frequent changes between houses because they struggle with not seeing their other parent for more than a few days. You and your ex-spouse must acknowledge that you may need to re-negotiate the schedule once your child is older or when life circumstances change.
Your parenting plan should address as many important issues as possible in raising your child together. This will help prevent fights and provide stability and security for your child.