Even when parents separate there still remain many years of forced cooperative parenting ahead. A separation or divorce agreement should incorporate a detailed parenting plan that addresses all shared parenting responsibilities for the foreseeable future. If a couple maintains good communication throughout the divorce process they might be able to generate a parenting plan without outside intervention. If not, an attorney can assist in creating a plan that addresses the best interest of the child.
A typical divorce agreement addresses child support, time-sharing and visitation issues. In addition to these main concerns, there are a number of things you and your ex might need to negotiate on behalf of your child. These include:
- Education — Decisions might include selecting an appropriate school, meeting with teachers, providing tutors and specialists and selecting a college.
- Tuition — If private tuition payment was not addressed in your support agreement, negotiate that as well.
- Mental health — Children often need emotional support following a divorce, so its best to work together to find a therapist, attend sessions when asked and help transport your child to and from meetings.
- Financial decisions — When children earn money, receive monetary gifts or inheritances from relatives, you and your ex can help your child create a budget and learn to spend or invest appropriately.
- Religion — If parents practice different religions, build an agreement to respect each other's faiths based on the child’s interest and personal identity.
- Living arrangements — Assist older and adult children in finding suitable housing and negotiate who stores the adult child’s belongings and where they live during vacations or if a situation doesn’t work out.
- Extra-curricular activities — Negotiate a shared schedule of carpooling, attending games, performances, concerts and other extracurricular activities.
Children have many needs beyond those you are legally bound to take care of. A skilled divorce attorney can help you create a parenting plan that addresses the best interest of your child so you can maintain a positive and loving parent-child relationship. Call the Law Office of Kenneth C. Gallagher at 407-897-1119, or contact us online.