If parents hope to provide the best life they can for their child after a divorce, it is necessary for them to create and maintain a strong parenting plan. In most cases, courts require parents to file a parenting plan as a part of their divorce. However, some parents choose to create a plan they don't intend to follow, making the experience more difficult and destructive for themselves and for the children they love.
A strong parenting plan is not a silver bullet to cure all the tension between parents who divorce, but it goes a long way towards establishing a dependable structure that parents and children can depend on. It's easy to work things out without a written plan when two parents are on good terms and their child is relatively happy, but once conflicts arise, parenting plans help keep both sides in line and protect the best interests of the child.
Parenting schedules are invaluable for many parents
When it comes to raising a child separately, parents who work nontraditional hours or who must work multiple jobs cannot afford to overlook a strong parenting plan. Not only does it help do away with confusion when times get difficult, it is a document approved and enforced by the court. If one parent disregards the plan, the court can use its considerable clout to keep that parent from interfering with the rights of the other parent.
Let's say that you are a police officer, firefighter or work some other type of job that requires nontraditional hours. This can make it difficult to put together a parenting plan, but it is that much more important.
For parents who struggle to provide consistency to their children because of their line of work, a strong parenting plan creates structure that the child can depend on, even if both parents must work together and remain flexible to make it work.
Similarly, if one parent tends to take more than they give or disregards the legitimate needs and rights of the other parent, a strong parenting plan provides court-enforced boundaries another parent may need help establishing. Some parents may use children as leverage to get what they want out of the other, and a strong court-approved parenting plan levels the playing field for parents who may otherwise get taken advantage of.
Yes, you need a parenting plan that protects you
Parenting plans may sound as though they exist to protect children, and they do, but they also protect the rights of parents, especially when things get tense and complicated. If you face divorce from your child's other parent, don't hesitate to build strong a parenting plan that keeps your needs and rights secure while providing strong protections to your child.
The stronger your parenting plan, the more you can focus on what truly matters — spending time with your child and being the best parent that you can be.