Practical steps to help you create a workable parenting plan with your child's other parent.
To successfully negotiate with the other parent, or to work well with any professional, you will want to collect and review all relevant documents. These include:
Carefully read the documents you gather. If you need help in finding or understanding any of them, an attorney, court clerk, paralegal, marriage counselor, mediator, member of the clergy or other professional might be useful.
You won't necessarily need all of these documents to develop a parenting plan. Nevertheless, having them can help expedite matters, especially if you are going through a legal separation or divorce. For example, if you or the other parent have already initiated a court proceeding, you may have a deadline for submitting your parenting agreement. If you begin negotiations and they seem to be going well, you will probably want to ask the court for an extension of time (called a "continuance") to let your negotiations continue. In short, you need to know where you stand right now so you can take all necessary steps to finalize your agreement, assure your rights and satisfy all legal requirements.
Single parents use KidsFirst! web-based software to create quick and easy legal documents to file in court and share an online co-parenting calendar. The Custody Agreement is for decisions about housing and co-parenting schedules. The Parenting Plan is for decisions about healthcare, education, religion, communication, safety, travel, childcare/daycare, drugs/alcohol, sports/activities, and much more. When signed by the judge, these documents become a court order and any violation is against the law.
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