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What makes a strong parenting plan?

Child custody is a complex issue, but in many cases, North Dakota parents are able to resolve their custody and visitation matters without the intervention of the court. If you are hoping to settle your divorce out of court and draft a parenting plan on your own, there are various things you would be wise to consider in order to ensure you have a strong and workable plan.

A parenting plan will be the foundation of your custody order. The document specifically details how you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will share parenting time. The terms of your plan will influence your family for years to come, and you would be wise to keep a clear view of the future and not allow temporary emotions to motivate you as you consider your agreement.

Important elements of a good custody plan

For many parents, child custody is a sensitive issue that involves many complex emotions. Despite the difficulty of dealing with custody and visitation matters, it is possible to draft a plan that allows you to maintain strong relationships with your children. As a general rule, there are specific things you have to address as part of your parenting plan. These include the following:

  • The amount of time each parent will have with the kids
  • Which parent will have primary custody or if parents will share joint custody
  • Which parent will maintain legal custody of the children
  • How parents will share custody during the holiday season and summer vacation
  • How each parent will handle visitation with other family members, such as grandparents and extended family
  • A system for effective resolution to any disputes or issues that arise after divorce is final

Your parenting plan is unique to your family, and you have the right to address specific issues that are important. As you draft your plan, you would be wise to think about issues such as unusual work schedules, your kids' medical needs and more.

Shielding your role as a parent 

Children greatly benefit when allowed to maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce. You can ensure the well-being of your kids and the protection of your parental rights by taking steps to be thoughtful and intentional while drafting your parenting plan.

Before you sign an agreement or make any decisions that could significantly affect your future, you would be wise to seek a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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