Divorce is never easy, and it gets more complicated when there are children involved. For couples with children in Michigan about to embark on divorce proceedings, developing a parenting plan should be one of the first steps to make negotiations as smooth as possible.
What you should know about parenting plans
Michigan family courts require you to outline how you and your ex-spouse will take care of your children. Your plan should contain details about parenting time to make not only negotiations but also your post-divorce life as smooth as possible. Among the elements that a good plan will consider are:
- Legal and physical custody
- Vacations and holidays
- Health care
- Education and college expenses
It’s important to include how you will resolve parenting disagreements. If your children are involved in sports or other extracurricular activities, handling those details should also become part of the plan.
A quality parenting plan will consider everyone’s needs. While you may not agree with your ex-spouse at first, you may be able to develop a quality plan with the help of an experienced lawyer or a divorce mediator who offers counsel in co-parenting issues.
Avoiding co-parenting mistakes
Always put your children’s needs first, not your own. Some common mistakes include not deciding on medical care and who pays for it, not specifying travel restrictions, forgetting to specify what should happen if one parent relocates and similar provisions. Don’t be afraid to have a plan that is long and detailed. Michigan courts like to see details in divorce and custody cases.
The importance of developing your own agreement
Remember, it’s not about your convenience but about developing quality relationships with your children. You know them better than the courts do, but if you don’t devise your own plan, the courts will develop one for you.