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What should be included in a parenting plan?

More and more these days, it seems parents in Colorado who are living in separate homes are seeing the benefits of creating detailed and well-thought parenting plans. Detailed parenting plans, after all, can create clear expectations between the parents and thus can foster both a smooth relationship between them as well as stability for their children. On the whole, a comprehensive parenting plan can ensure the best interests of the children involved and head off child custody disputes before they develop.

There are many items that parents can write in to an agreed parenting plan. On this point a lot of what should go in to a parenting plan really does depend on one's individual facts and circumstances. As such, most parents are well served by having help from a mediator or their own family law attorney in negotiating a parenting plan.

Still, there are some basic issues one will wish to ensure that they address in their parenting plan. Perhaps on the most basic level, the parenting plan should include a specific visitation schedule. In addition to a regular visitation schedule, special occasions, like vacations, birthdays and major holidays, should be discussed. Likewise, a parenting plan should spell out which decisions require the consent of both parents and how that joint decision-making work on a practical level.

A parenting plan is also an excellent opportunity for parents to set out ground rules for how they communicate with each other and with their children. A plan can also account for any special needs a child has and can even govern how parents will handle their disputes or change the plan as needed.

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