How to Create an Effective Parenting Plan

Emily Baker – Senior Associate

Virginia Divorce Attorney, Emily Baker discusses how co-parents can create an effective parenting plan after a divorce.

A parenting plan is another name for a contract or an agreement that co-parents can enter into together concerning custody and visitation of their kids. A parenting plan is an important tool that parents can use to layout structure and detail to their time with their children. It’s important to start thinking about a parenting plan as early in the process as possible because it helps create and maintain stability for your children during this period.

There are 5 major practical considerations when developing a parenting plan with your co-parent. These include:

  • Location of home
  • Location of kids’ schools
  • Parent’s work and time constraints
  • Kids’ ages
  • Kids’ special needs

Parenting plans are usually developed out of the court system. This is important because it allows a parent to be as creative as they want to be. For parents with a unique work schedule, we can create a workable parenting plan. For example, you can create a varying week-to-week or a varying month-to-month schedule that comports with your work schedule, but also makes sure you have time to spend with your kids.

My biggest goal when working with parents is to minimize conflict in their co-parenting relationship so their children can thrive in their new family environment and divorce doesn’t become a life event for them.