Advantages to Negotiating Your Parenting Plan

How do I make a parenting plan for my children?

You can write up your own parenting plan or you can work with a lawyer or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of a lawyer, and want to create your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.

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Why is negotiating a parenting plan important?

Negotiating a parenting plan is important because it allows you to insert your own opinions and experience into the document that will govern the way you and the other parent will raise your children.

While no two divorcing parents will see completely eye-to-eye, negotiating a parenting plan forces you both to evaluate the realities of caring for your children and providing them with everything they need to develop into happy and healthy adults.

You should never simply accept a parenting plan that has not been carefully customized for your children. Because each family has different needs, make a parenting plan that goes beyond the basics. A detailed parenting plan where both you and the other parent have given your input stands the best chance of success.

Custody X Change is custody software that provides comprehensive templates for those making parenting plans. This software makes it easy for you to explore different plan ideas and to create one that satisfies everyone.

Does negotiating a parenting plan benefit my children?

Negotiating a parenting plan definitely benefits your children, because through negotiations, you and the other parent must evaluate so many of their basic needs, both physical and mental.

When children have two parents working together to create a stable and loving environment, especially during and after the trauma of divorce, they will definitely benefit.

Here are some of the reasons why negotiating a parenting plan can benefit your children:

  • It allows you and the other parent to state your goals for your children.
  • It sets up communication habits between you and the other parent.
  • It states the legal consequences if one of you doesn't keep to the plan.
  • It results in a clear visitation schedule you can both refer to.
  • It lessens tension between parents and children because the basic daily decisions are already established.
  • It forces you to get familiar with divorce and custody laws in your state.
  • It often reduces your legal fees when you create it yourself.

Rather than sign whatever the other parent's lawyer places in front of you, take the time to discuss every topic and make sure it is in your children's best interest. Your children will benefit immensely when you and the other parent have looked at the pros and cons of each point, then made the best decisions on their behalf.

What should I focus on when negotiating a parenting plan?

When negotiating a parenting plan with the other parent, you must focus on whether the decisions you are making promote the best interests of your children. Put aside your own desires and preferences and really look at what meets the children's developmental needs.

Custody X Change software provides you with parenting plan templates that help you and the other parent carefully review many aspects of parenting after a divorce. You can customize the parenting plan to meet your children's needs while using the helpful software to guide your negotiations.

Consider these 5 questions as you and the other parent negotiate a parenting plan:

  1. Am I working with the other parent to put our children's needs before our own?
  2. Am I engaged in productive communication with the other parent?
  3. Am I refraining from negative comments and accusations toward the other parent?
  4. Am I respecting the other parent's parenting time and abilities?
  5. Am I being flexible and offering legitimate compromises?

When you both can honestly answer "yes" to these questions and agree to promote your children's best interests as you negotiate, you'll find that your talks will be more productive.

Acknowledging your own parenting strengths and weaknesses allows you both to negotiate a plan that gives your children a workable parenting plan that provides them a stable environment with access to both of you.

Children do best when there is frequent, caring contact with both parents, and a joint custody parenting plan may be the best way to structure that contact.

What if the other parent stops negotiating the parenting plan?

When the other parent stops negotiating the parenting plan, you must continue on your own and let the family court make the final decisions. Ideally, two parents should come up with a workable plan that the court approves. However, when communication and negotiation breaks down, you may be forced to go solo.

If you've tried to negotiate some or all of the parenting plan and aren't making any progress, you have two choices:

  1. Create a parenting plan on your own to submit to the court. Regardless of what the other parent thinks, if the court feels that your plan represents the children's best interests, it may be approved as is or with a few modifications.
  2. Leave it to the court to come up with a parenting plan. This takes away a lot of your input on what happens to your children and how you and the other parent will raise them. Unless you and the other parent are completely unbending, the court would rather that one or both parents create a working plan.

Custody X Change software allows you to create a parenting plan that you can print out and submit to your lawyer or to the court. It can be changed or revised as often as you like before printing.

What are some key factors in negotiating a parenting plan?

Negotiating a parenting plan is often compared to business negotiations, so learn about the key factors that successful negotiators implement in order to reach a satisfactory agreement. Use techniques that work in business negotiations so you and the other parent can make a more comprehensive parenting plan.

Here are 5 negotiation tips:

  1. Start with an open mind. Don't begin your conversations determined to dig in your heels and never compromise. Consider what the other parent is proposing before you make a snap judgement.
  2. Listen, then speak. Take time to really hear what the other parent is proposing. When you find out what the other parent is thinking, you can learn what is really important and tailor your comments to fit.
  3. Mind your manners. Emotions can run high during a divorce, but emotions can ruin productive negotiations. Treat the other parent in a calm, collected manner, just as you would a client or other business associate. Be courteous and fair to see better results.
  4. Stick to the plan. Negotiating a parenting plan isn't the time to bring up a list of grievances about the other parent. It isn't a time to fight or throw accusations around. Realize that your time as a couple is ending but your job as parents while divorced is just beginning.
  5. Study up. Learn everything you can about child development, psychological studies on the effects of divorce on children, and the basic custody laws of your state. If you are prepared with ideas, evidence and proposals concerning your children's lives post-divorce, the other parent might just listen and agree that what you want is indeed best for the children.

Use Custody X Change software when creating a parenting plan so you can revise and update it as your negotiations progress. This award-winning software lets you and the other parent start from templates and then customize them to fit your family's needs.

Where can I find help when negotiating a parenting plan?

There are several resources you can use when negotiating a parenting plan. From technology to experts, you don't have to be on your own when it comes time to negotiate a parenting plan with the other parent.

Use custody software, such as Custody X Change, to create the basic parenting plan. The software provides you with categories of post-divorce parenting to consider with the other parent. As you reach agreements, revise the template plan to reflect your decisions.

Your lawyer can help you negotiate a parenting plan as well. If there are areas that you and the other parent cannot agree on, it's time to get your lawyers involved. Third party mediators can also be a great asset when you and the other parent cannot agree.

Many states also provide samples of parenting plans that you can review to see what kind of balance other parents have reached when it comes to creating parenting plans. Courts may also have minimum requirements that must appear in your parenting plan, so check those out to ensure your plan will meet the court's approval.

The easiest way to make a parenting plan

Creating a parenting plan on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

Use technology to take the guesswork out of the equation. The Custody X Change app walks you through each step of creating a comprehensive parenting plan.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent and secures your child's future.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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