Are you seeking to separate from your spouse, or have you already filed to dissolve your marriage?
When filing for the dissolution of your marriage, you have to make various important decisions regarding your finances, such as alimony payments and the division of your shared assets.
If you and your spouse are parents and share custody of your children, then there are even more financial decisions to be made regarding allowance agreements.
At Divorce Financially, we understand that you want to create the best future for your children, which is why we recommend crafting a parenting plan.
We suggest working with one of our experienced financial mediators before bringing your case in front of a judge to preserve a peaceful relationship between you and your spouse.
Through mediated communication with your spouse, our mediators can help plan a healthy financial future for your children.
Do you want to learn more about how a parenting plan can help this whole process run more smoothly? Call 952-428-7800 for a complimentary consultation with a mediator today.
a parenting plan for both parties
When pursuing separation from your spouse, it can be tempting to hire a lawyer, file the necessary paperwork, and have your case determined through the court system without first pursuing mediation.
After all, you have probably already gone through the talk therapy process to no avail. While you might currently hold contempt toward your former partner, we recommend consistent communication to prevent future conflict.
This recommendation hinges on you and your children being physically and emotionally safe with your spouse. If this is not the case, please seek help over reconciliation.
Although your marriage is no longer intact, you can still be a part of a parenting partnership. Having the ability to communicate with your spouse about the best interests of your children will strengthen the partnership.
At Divorce Financially, we hope to end the one parent versus the other parent mentality with detailed parenting plans.
Instead of arguing over a court order in front of a judge or becoming incensed over visitation rights, you and your spouse can calmly face the future together with a pre-written document known as a parenting plan.
A compassionate mediator from Divorce Financially will facilitate the conversation between you and your spouse as you discuss and decide upon the details for raising your children.
what is a parenting plan?
Should your child attend public school or private school for their education? If your child requires emergency health care services, which parent will pay the bill? How will you decide which household your children visit for the holidays?
A pre-written parenting plan essentially acts as an agreement between both parents on how to raise their children and alleviates any potential stress about the future. Parenting plans should answer the following questions:
- Which parent will make the primary decisions on involvement in activities such as day care, schooling, and extracurricular interests?
- If the parents have different religious beliefs, which religion should the child join?
- Do the parents want to share joint responsibility for the children’s health care decisions and medical needs?
- How will the parents discipline the children?
- What happens if a parent moves to a different city or state than the other parent? Which state has jurisdiction over the case, and which state laws apply?
- Which of the parents is the custodial parent?
- What is the children’s visitation schedule regarding vacations and holidays?
File a petition for joint custody: Child custody agreement
Typically, a parenting plan outlines when your child spends time with their other parent. Frequently, the non-custodial parent enjoys every other weekend with their child and one weekday evening. Summer vacation also tends to be spent with the non-custodial parent.
However, delegating parenting time is entirely up to both your schedule and your spouse’s schedule. For example, suppose that Thanksgiving and Christmas are significant holidays for you and your child, but you notice that your spouse does not care to celebrate either holiday.
While it may be the norm for a child to spend one holiday at their custodial parent’s home and the following holiday at their non-custodial parent’s home, you can always communicate and negotiate for the plan that best suits your family’s unique dynamics.
During mediation, you and your spouse can also discuss how you would like to plan your visitation exchanges.
Ask yourself: would it be best for your child if you drop them off at each other’s homes or should you schedule the exchange on neutral ground, such as at school or in the parking lot of a local food establishment?
You can also rework this plan over time to serve everyone involved best.
maintain joint custody
However, if your spouse is pushing for sole legal custody, there are some precautions you can take to maintain your joint custody plan, including:
- Write down the activities you participate in with your child over 12 months. Writing out a calendar will establish if you log the most parenting time and thus should become the custodial parent.
- Prove to the court that you have a permanent residence where, ideally, your child will have their own room.
- Pursue counseling to ensure that you are an emotionally healthy parent for your child.
- Frequently communicate with your child, especially if you work in the transportation industry and your role has you away from home often.
- Keep all court forms and talk of your legal case away from your child. Your child should be allowed to have a normal adolescence, free from the stress of the legal battles you may be facing.
- Collect witnesses who can testify in court about your excellent parenting and point out why you should retain your custody rights.
plan for child support
A support order should explain how much money one party owes the other. On the other hand, a parenting plan can document in writing how the support should be paid, such as through the state child support division.
At Divorce Financially, we understand that extenuating circumstances can cause your support payments to be late. We recommend adding a delinquent payment plan into your parenting plan, just in case.
plan ahead with divorce financially
As you approach this difficult time, you could file your divorce forms, bring your case before your county judge, and have the court’s authority enforce the rules of your separation, or you could attempt to preserve your relationship as parents first.
A pre-written parenting plan can help maintain your child’s sense of security by providing a relationship framework for you and your former spouse. To begin drafting your plan, contact the experienced and helpful mediators at Divorce Financially by calling 952-428-7800 today.