The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can be particularly hard for divorced families trying to co-parent for the first time. Divorced parents can find it challenging to learn to share their minor children and live within the guidelines of a parenting agreement. Whether you are going through the divorce process or going through your first holiday as a divorced parent sharing minor children, a structured parenting plan can be difficult to get used to as a family. Divorce litigation can leave you with a complicated and rigid parenting plan that doesn’t represent the needs of your family.
Common Disputes Caused by Generic Parenting Plans
Negotiating a custody and visitation plan can be one of the most challenging aspects of creating a parenting plan, but the most important thing to remember is that your parenting plan must be realistic and flexible enough to meet the needs of a growing and changing family. A flexible parenting plan leaves room in the arrangement for parents to accommodate last-minute holiday changes.
- Parents Want the Children for the Same Holiday and Celebrations: When you have a generic parenting plan, it doesn’t take into consideration your family history, rituals, or customs. If Thanksgivings are the most important holiday in your extended family, your parenting plan needs to address how Thanksgiving will be handled each year. Guidelines for how holidays will be handled and what compromises entail.
- Differing Parenting Styles: You and your co-parent will have new households with rules that befit your personality and parenting philosophies. Different rules for different houses can be difficult for children. If bedtime is 9 pm at one parent’s house and 11 pm at the other parent’s house, the inconsistencies will eventually become a problem.
- Timing Issues: When parents need to share children and coordinate pickup and drop-off times, it can be frustrating to continue to work in good faith with a parent who is chronically late or misses drop-offs. Maybe one parent’s schedule can’t accommodate the preset drop-off time and needs to be changed to better suit your family’s needs and restrictions. A bespoke parenting plan can provide both structure and flexibility.
The Importance of Negotiating a Personalized Parenting Plan
Parents need to agree on the terms of a parenting plan to reach a settlement agreement with any hopes of success. Because parents want to get through the process quickly, it can be tempting to go with a generic parenting plan, but that’s a mistake. Agreeing to a generic custody agreement can mean your parenting plan lacks the details and features unique to your family. A generic custody agreement is a great place to start creating a personalized document that reflects your family’s unique needs.
A personalized parenting plan will include specifics regarding issues and topics such as:
- Parent decision-making guidelines
- Weeknight & weekends time-sharing guidelines
- Legal & religious holiday plans
- Birthday sharing
- Plans for special family occasions
Even if divorcing parents plan to have a collaborative co-parenting relationship, you may find that a parenting plan without more definition and detail can leave you and your co-parent struggling to get into a healthy parenting rhythm. If you and your ex finalized your divorce using a generic parenting plan, you could work with our attorneys to modify your custody agreement to better fit your family’s needs. Our legal staff understands how a generic parenting plan can leave you and your family in a tough custody situation. The divorce lawyers at Alternative Divorce Solutions are understanding and considerate legal professionals. Call us at 949-368-2121 to schedule a consultation.