Michigan parents who are getting a divorce might need to create a parenting plan. In many ways, a parenting plan is a document that makes explicit agreements that were implicit during the marriage. Parents can address any areas that might affect their custody and visitation arrangement and their ability to coparent effectively. The document can then be approved by a judge.
Legal custody refers to parents having the ability to make decisions about a child’s health care, education, religion and other important issues. It is often shared even when just one parent has physical custody. Parents may want a blueprint for how to resolve any disagreements they might encounter regarding legal custody or any other issues. Parents may agree on both a method of resolution, such as mediation, as well as an approach to communication.
The parenting plan should also include all the specifics about the custody and visitation plan. It should say what day the children will be with each parent and what will happen during vacations and holidays. It should cover rules around dropoffs and pickups. It should also address child support, if applicable, and such additional expenses as health care. Other areas to potentially address include school activities, when the child will see other relatives and how to handle a potential parental relocation.
Negotiating an agreement for child custody and visitation and putting together a parenting plan can be a difficult part of divorce. Parents may struggle with the idea of having less time with their children than they are accustomed to, but it may help to focus on the best interests of the child. This is the standard courts use when they determine a custody case. They also operate from the presumption that, in most cases, it is best for children to spend time with both parents.