Parents in Maryland who are planning on divorcing will also need to have a parenting plan as they continue raising their children. The parenting plan can be created jointly, or, if the parents cannot agree about the different aspects usually addressed, it can be decided by the court. Either way, the parenting plan. as with all child custody issues, should focus on the best interests of the child.
Considerations before creating a parenting plan
There are many issues parents must consider before they create their parenting plan. From locations of homes to scheduling of activities to the relationship between the parents, the more specific and clear a parenting plan is the better it will serve the family. Some of the issues to consider include:
- Each parent’s ability when it comes to caretaking and decision-making for the children
- The child’s educational, emotional and developmental needs and how well each parent can meet them
- The location of each home in relation to the child’s schools and other activities and the ability of the home to provide a stable environment for the child
- The way and effectiveness of communication between the parents and between each parent and child
What to include in a parenting plan
While each parenting plan should be unique to each family, there are some areas that should always be addressed. This can serve to decrease the impact on the child’s life after the end of the marriage.
A parenting plan should always address the amount of time the child will spend with each parent, as well as how holidays, vacations and other special events will be divided. It should specify child care details. As well, the parenting plan should be clear about how decisions related to education and activities, health, development and religion will be made. Finally, it should include communication methods and information-sharing tools used by the family.