Separation and an eventual divorce elicit a chain reaction of personal and legal ramifications. Your children remain your focus throughout, and understanding how a custody plan works can help add stability in an uncertain landscape.
The court requires a custody plan before granting a divorce. Learn some of the most critical pieces to include when drafting it.
What is the purpose of a custody plan?
A custody plan sets out to give your family a framework of how things will run after splitting into two homes. It contains your legal custody agreement, the schedule and other actionable items you and your spouse wish to include.
What should you include?
The most important part of a custody plan is the physical custody or parenting time each of you has. This may take some time to hash out and should include a schedule, so the court knows where the child will reside at any given time. You should also have:
- Where the custody exchange will occur (school or somewhere else)
- Bedtime routines
- The parent designation for school zoning purposes
- The process for schedule changes
- Any other agreements you and your ex believe apply to your children.
Can you modify a custody plan?
As your children grow, your custody plan will need to change. The hope is that you and the other parent will foster a cooperative parenting spirit and make those changes between the two of you. However, it is not a bad idea to memorialize any further agreements and modifications with the court.
The judge will view the custody plan with an eye for what is in the best interests of the children. If you and the other parent create it with that viewpoint, you will help ensure your children get a good chance to adjust.