A couple will likely face numerous challenges when navigating the divorce process. From property division to support matters, the divorcing couple must negotiate several issues until they reach a beneficial resolution. Unfortunately, in their haste to complete certain compromises, they might make mistakes when developing a parenting plan.
While every divorce is unique, there are common mistakes a couple might make when deciding upon the terms of their parenting time plan, including:
- Failing to include a provision for revisions: For whatever reason, parents often think the parenting time plan is ironclad. Unfortunately, numerous provisions will require revisions in the future. From the changing needs of the child, to adjusting the holiday schedule, parents must agree on the process of making certain revisions to the agreement.
- Failing to discuss preferred communication methods: It is important for the couple to discuss their preferred methods of communication. From texting and phone calls to email and personal visits, everyone prefers to communicate in different ways. In the parenting plan, it is wise to discuss these methods so each parent can be held accountable for important information.
- Failing to include provisions for alternative exchange sites: While it might be common for parents to pick up or drop off the child at each other’s homes, it is wise to set up an alternative. Whether for poor weather or to create a neutral exchange location, the parents should cover this material in the parenting time agreement.
In the months or years following a divorce, couples will often need to make revisions to documents. Whether parents center the changes on the maturation of the child or the need for occupational relocation, the couple must work together through the legal process to modify the existing parenting time agreement. The temptation, of course, will be to make verbal agreements to save time and effort. Unfortunately, the verbal agreements are not legally binding should one party ignore or intentionally break a provision of the parenting plan.