Westside Family Law

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B.C. family law: A parenting plan can help in divorce situations

Psychologists, social workers and other counsellors have agreed that divorce has one of the most stressful impacts on families and especially on children. British Columbia family law gives parents choices when it comes to parenting their children as separate individuals. One of the best ways to co-parent as a divorced couple is by having a parenting plan. 

Separating parents in British Columbia must take a Parenting After Separation (PAS) course before their divorce is heard in the courts. A lawyer experienced in family law will provide guidance and supply information regarding working with a licensed family mediator. Children will experience many emotions when their parents are divorcing and it's important for parents to be attuned to those emotions so they can help their children through them together and separately. 

A parenting plan will outline such stipulations as child custody, visitation, child support and other matters pertaining to children of divorce. The plan will highlight the responsibilities of each parent to their children and it can be fashioned with each individual situation in mind. It can also speak to things like talking about the other parent with respect in front of the kids, talking to each other about things that concern the children, listening skills, how much time children spend with each parent and when, who gets whom on which holidays, etc., as well as dealing with day-to-day decisions and possible emergency situations. 

A parenting plan should primarily reflect the needs of the children. Having guidelines on paper may reduce conflict in the future. Cooperation between parents usually leads to children coping better with a separation situation. By working together with a lawyer and/or mediator, parents can pen a plan that's best for their children. 

Parents in divorce situations win when divorce mediation can be chosen over litigation. Lawyers in British Columbia with stellar records in family law will help parties come to a successful resolution. It is a good step to consult a family lawyer during the parenting plan process. He or she can help parents understand their legal rights and responsibilities as it pertains to this legally-binding plan.

Source: justice.gc.ca, "Parenting plan tool", Accessed on Aug. 7, 2017

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