Your child is a precious gift, and you want to protect him or her, especially during the divorce process. Creating a child custody and parenting plan may be very crucial in this process.
If you are divorcing, you may be weighing your options. There are strong advantages to developing a parenting plan out of court.
Divorce in itself can be a long, strenuous and expensive process. Creating a parenting plan out of court can help to relieve some of the stress and fees of court. Even those parties who enlist the help of mediators still pay less than it would cost to go before a judge. Also, the judge would have to hear testimony, ask questions and evaluate evidence before making a decision. If you and the other parent can work together, you will likely be able to come to an agreement quicker.
Working together to create the plan for the sake of your child may help to rebuild or maintain a positive relationship between you and the other parent. Instead of working against each other, the goal is to come together, talk through issues and concerns, and come to an agreement that works for everyone. This cooperative team effort can be helpful in maintaining the plan, as well as with making adjustments in the future, as needed.
Rather than having the judge make some of the most important and intimate decisions about the parent-child relationship, you and the other parent maintain control over the process by creating the plan out of court. For this reason, the court encourages the process and even provides a planning guide to aid you in your efforts.
These are just a few of the possible benefits of creating a parenting plan out of court. Every relationship is different, so some parents may experience even greater benefits from such an experience. If you are considering creating a parenting plan, it is important to review all of its necessary elements to ensure that the plan is valid.