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Building a Parenting Agreement that Works

Building a Parenting Agreement that Works

One of the most important and (if done right), valuable things that come out of a divorce is a parenting agreement. If you have a good, workable, solid parenting plan, it is worth more than any monetary settlement you might receive. It’s the equivalent of a road map that will help you avoid confusing back roads that lead to nowhere (or to dark alleys where horrible things are likely to happen). Parenting after divorce can be tricky, it’s not advisable to attempt it without the very best of “road maps.” You want the kind of parenting plan (or road map) that leads you directly to the easy to navigate, super highways that take you directly where you need to go. Building a solid parenting agreement is absolutely necessary for success.

The Bare Bones Parenting Plan:

In many cases, divorcing parents attempt to avoid conflict during their divorce and end up with what can be best described as a “Bare Bones” parenting plan. In these cases, there are many common problems: kids miss out on time spent with one parent or the other, they miss activities and friends, they may not receive medical care in the most timely fashion, they may not get the necessary psychological care, they lose touch with extended family members, they feel disappointed, sad, and angry because their lives don’t seem to be working, they resent their parents for getting divorced and for putting them in the middle. In conclusion, the Bare Bones parenting agreement is not a good idea. It avoids stress during the divorce proceedings only to leave you open to stress the entire time you are attempting to raise your children with your ex.

The Detailed and Dependable Parenting Plan:

In comparison, the detailed and dependable parenting plan that every divorcing parent should aim for includes information relevant to the day-to-day decisions of your life as a parent. It will keep things running like clockwork for parents and children alike. When there is already a plan in place for holidays, special occasions, vacations, medical care, etc. the stress of parental conflict can be almost entirely avoided. You’re dealing with humans in their natural habitat, so there will always be something that comes up that no one thought of, but with a detailed and dependable, well-designed parenting agreement, this will be very rare. And by the time it happens, you will be so used to working amicably with your ex that it’s likely there won’t be a huge problem coming to a resolution on the new issue. Other benefits of the well-designed parenting plan include: peace of mind, more stability for the children, increased likelihood that you will be able to focus on the children instead of arguing with your ex, the additional safety that comes for parents and children with a routine, the ability to make plans knowing when you will have the children, the ability to avoid additional litigation regarding parenting disputes.

If you are tempted to put a “Bare Bones” parenting agreement in place to avoid conflict in your divorce, please get in touch first. Experienced Arizona divorce lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys can discuss the possibilities with you in terms of legal decision making and parenting time so you know the options. You don’t want to end up having to go back to court at a later date to obtain the parenting plan you need in place now.


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