The main rule for parenting plans in Georgia is that they should be in a child’s best interests. However, what is actually best for a child is open to interpretation. Personal history, education levels and religion can all influence what people think are actually best for the children in a family.
If you and your ex don’t make clear rules in your parenting plan, you will very likely have more conflicts later as you share custody of your children. You don’t just need to address the overall breakdown of parenting time and the basic schedule for sharing custody.
There are a few special considerations that you should address when negotiating your parenting plan to help your family have a more effective and peaceful co-parenting arrangement.
How will you handle holidays and special events?
Few issues will make parents get into an argument about their custody rights more quickly than a disagreement about who gets to be present for the child’s next birthday or holiday celebration.
Some families rotate holidays and special events so that they are present for every other occasion. Others split special days, with the child changing custody in the middle of the day.
Parents who can manage to keep it friendly and positive relationship after their separation may even be able to agree to shared holiday in birthday celebrations, as well as both parents being present for special events, like athletic competitions and spelling bees.
Who will make certain decisions for the children?
Splitting parenting time is important, but so is dividing decision-making authority. If one of you feels strongly about religion while the other is ambivalent, the parent was stronger feelings may be the one to make religious choices for the children. If one parent is a doctor, they may be better able to make crucial medical decisions for the children when there is a disagreement about the next step to take for a child’s health concerns.
Identifying how you will cooperate with decision-making matters and who will have the ultimate power to make certain choices will reduce conflict later.
How will you resolve disagreements?
Do you want to only communicate in writing when you disagree or to sit down with your former couple’s therapist to handle major disagreements? Having a plan in place for how the two of you will address the disputes that inevitably arise when you share parenting authority will help ensure that your disagreement won’t spiral out of control, stress out your children and damage your co-parenting relationship.
Adding the right terms to your parenting plan will help you handle the stresses of shared custody more effectively.