Crafting Parenting Agreements That Work

No two parenting agreements will ever be exactly the same. Children and situations differ, and thus creating a parenting plan that "works" will look different for everyone.

When it comes to creating a parenting plan that works for your family, you likely already have the mindset of obtaining an agreement founded on maintaining your child's well-being. Our lawyers will do everything they can to create parenting agreements that accomplish this goal and meet your family's needs.

Things To Consider When Creating A Parenting Plan

Knowing that each outcome will flex to a family's individual needs and concerns, here are the common issues that you must work out in a parenting agreement:

  • Your child's regular home life — Will the children live primarily in one house with scheduled visits to the other parent's home, or will they travel to and from each parent's house equally? How will each parent communicate with the children? How far apart will parents live?
  • Handling vacations and holidays — Will you divide up holidays or share them equally each year? How will you handle summer vacations and school holidays? What about visits with grandparents and other relatives?
  • Educational decisions — How will you handle decisions about a child's schooling? How will you share access to school records? Who will attend parent-teacher conferences?
  • Health care decisions — What's your plan if your child gets sick at school? How will decisions regarding medical and dental care be made between the two of you? How will you share access to your child's medical information?
  • Lifestyle decisions — What sort of values can you agree on instilling in your children? Whose religion (if different) will the children follow until they can make their own choices? What languages will be spoken at home?
  • Changes in your child's life — What if your ex-spouse starts dating again or wishes to get remarried? What if one parent wishes to move, perhaps internationally, with the children? How will you negotiate changes to or resolve disputes about your parenting plan in the future?

In addition to these basic questions, many other issues on how to share parenting responsibility may or may not need to be included in your actual legal plan. These include shared "rules" or expectations like eating healthily, no TV or Internet time before homework is done, participating in household chores, etc.

Creating A Plan That Works For You

Obviously, details are critically important when it comes to making parenting arrangements. Most successful plans include input from both parties, which is why processes like mediation and collaborative law often work well for custody matters. As long as both parties remain flexible and keep the kids' interests at the heart of the discussion, most partners — even those involved in difficult breakups — can create solid plans both parties can agree to.

Not every situation lends itself to easy decisions, however. Highly contested custody situations or those involving allegations of illness, abuse or addiction require a strong, supportive advocate. Our lawyers are no strangers to such situations. We will take your case before the Court if necessary to protect the safety of your children.

Ready To Get Started?

We understand that helping your children thrive after divorce or separation means protecting your ability to remain active and involved in their lives. Contact our office in Vancouver at 604-800-8853 or email our firm with your questions to get started.