Seven essential issues to address in your parenting plan

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Family Law

A separation is a transformative moment for both parents and their children, but a well-drafted parenting plan can set the whole family up for success in this new phase of their lives. 

Everybody involved needs predictability, so the more detailed you can make your agreement, the better. 

To get you started, here are seven of the most important issues you’ll need to consider when putting together your parenting plan. 

Where will the children live?

Traditionally, many parents would have conflated the child’s residence with “custody,” but in the legal profession, we have moved away from unhelpful terms like these that suggest ownership over a child and encourage conflict between parents. 

Parents who equally share decision-making responsibility over their children will not necessarily have an equal parenting-time schedule, but the parenting time arrangement is an important starting point because many other issues — including the amount of child support payable — flow from the child’s residence schedule. 

Even if parents have agreed to share parenting time equally, there are any number of combinations to consider. For example, parents of older children often operate on a simple week-on, week-off basis throughout the year. 

However, this kind of alternating schedule is less suitable for younger children, and many parents are more comfortable with a bi-weekly 2-5-2-5 or 3-4-3-4 arrangement. 

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