Preparing a Parenting Plan for Mediation
You can write up your own parenting plan (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans. You make each part of your agreement, and then you can print professional documents of your plan.
You must seriously consider preparing a parenting plan for mediation so that you can get your thoughts, opinions and preferences for raising your children into the decision-making process.
If you don't put your ideas onto paper to use in mediation, you may not remember everything you want to say and it will be more difficult for the mediator to understand you.
Preparing a parenting plan for mediation requires lots of hard work and plenty of decisions to be made--it's not easy. However, it will be worth it when your proposals are incorporated into a workable and effective parenting plan.
Many divorcing parents go to mediation to work out parenting plans that they can both agree on. Sometimes, the court will instruct parents to attend mediation if they are having a hard time working out the details on their parental responsibilities after the divorce.
When you prepare a parenting plan for mediation, you are forcing yourself to organize your thoughts, gear up for negotiations, focus on the issues you care about and promote your children's best interests.
You need to know that a parenting plan is a comprehensive document that outlines all the details about raising your children after your divorce. It is a blueprint on how you and the other parent will care for the children, including where they will live and how finances will be shared.
Among the areas a parenting plan covers are:
- Custody details
- Custody schedule
- Transition plans between homes
- Holiday and vacation time divisions
- Access to school and medical records
- Decision making rights and responsibilities
- Communication details between parents
- Communication details between parents and children
- Communication details with extended family
- Child care decisions
- Child raising approaches, such as allowance, chores and discipline
Use custody software such as Custody X Change to create comprehensive parenting plans. The software provides you with templates to get you started, then you can customize them to fit your family's needs..
In the area of custody and divorce, mediation is the process where trained mediators help you and the other parent set goals to reach agreements to disputes concerning raising your children after the divorce.
Preparing a parenting plan for mediation allows you to put your ideas onto paper and offer a point-by-point proposal on how to raise your children. Mediators are trained to help you and the other parent focus on putting your children's needs first, and a parenting plan that you create shows the mediator your side of the negotiations.
Your goal in preparing a parenting plan with a mediator is to help you and the other parent sit down and discuss all the issues regarding raising your children. If you can work out the details and come to an agreement in mediation, you will spend less time in court.
With a parenting plan in hand during mediation, you have the chance to create a flexible plan that fits your family's needs as you reorganize your lives.
A custom plan will help you balance both work and personal schedules to create optimal parenting time. Use Custody X Change software to print out a detailed parenting plan to take with you to get the conversations started.
You can get help from several sources when preparing a parenting plan for mediation. The amount of help you receive depends mostly on your needs and how much you understand about custody issues in your state.
Attorneys. The first source of help you can turn to is an attorney with experience in divorce and custody. While attorneys are knowledgeable, legal fees will be expensive and often you are at the mercy of the attorney's very busy schedule. However, for solid legal advice, attorneys provide plenty of peace of mind.
Custody Software. Creating a parenting plan is not all that difficult when you turn to custody software. For example, Custody X Change software provides detailed templates that can be customized to fit your particular situation. The software guides you through the entire process, then lets you print out the parenting plan you've created to take with you to mediation.
In order to save money during your divorce proceedings, try the custody software first to get acquainted with the type of topics a parenting plan covers, and work out what you can on your own before seeking out additional help.
There are several things to avoid when preparing a parenting plan for mediation, and most of them center around keeping your emotions in control.
In order to make the most of your mediation sessions and keep the communication open and honest, prepare a parenting plan that is as detailed as possible and promotes your children's best interests. Feelings of hostility, negativity and revenge can cloud your mind to what is really needed in your parenting plan.
Here are 5 things that can harm your efforts when preparing a parenting plan for mediation:
- Using vague language within the plan, especially when it comes to the custody schedule. The more specific you are in every instance, the clearer the agreement will be.
- Forgetting to include details on current and future medical care, including treatments, costs and decision-making rights.
- Leaving out restrictions on travel, such as on vacations. Your parenting plan can restrict you and the other parent from leaving the state or the country with the children unless there is a mutual agreement.
- Neglecting to set up regular times to review the existing parenting plan to discuss revisions.
- Avoiding agreements on how to handle future disputes about the parenting plan.
Custody X Change software includes helpful reminders about what you should and should not include in your parenting plan. The mediator will have plenty of topics for discussion when you arrive at the session with a clear, detailed parenting plan.
Because mediation is intended to bring you and the other parent together to agree on a parenting plan, choosing not to prepare one signals that you are not necessarily interested in participating fully.
Your parenting plan doesn't have to be perfect to go to mediation. In fact, if you are counting on the plan to be accepted as is, you will be disappointed. The purpose of preparing a parenting plan for mediation is to get your insight into a document that you can refer to often.
Also, it gives the mediator a chance to really see where you are coming from. Especially when you can back up your proposals with evidence, you stand a better chance of everyone else seeing that your way may be the best for the children.
While it may seem intimidating to create a parenting plan and present it in mediation, it's a challenge that you must accept in order to provide input into your children's lives. Divorce is stressful enough on all of you, but a well-crafted parenting plan can take a lot of the conflict away down the road.
Give Custody X Change software a try when you are preparing a parenting plan for mediation. Having your thoughts in your hands will certainly help you communicate better in such an emotionally charged situation.