Working out a parenting plan could end up being the most difficult part of your divorce. You and your spouse may both believe you have your children’s best interests in mind. Yet, you may disagree about what they look like. Approaching custody in a collaborative manner, though, will allow you to work toward consensus. And it can help you create a plan that puts your children first.
Working out your parenting plan
If you and your spouse pursue a collaborative divorce, you will take a problem-solving approach to any disputes you have. You two will not work these out on your own, but with the help of your respective attorneys and various professionals. This arrangement can help you ensure your divorce reflects you and your spouse’s circumstances – as well as your children’s.
Since you and your spouse understand your children better than anyone else, it makes sense that you would want the final say in your parenting plan’s provisions. As part of the collaborative process, you will work with a child specialist to resolve any disagreements about custody. The specialist will also help you consider your children’s point of view when working out your plan. Litigating your divorce would leave these concerns in the hands of a judge, who may not understand your children’s needs as well as you do.
Finalizing your parenting plan
While you and your spouse will create your parenting plan outside the courtroom, you will still need it finalized. A judge must approve it before its terms become legally binding. During your hearing, they will make sure its provisions are fair and negotiated in good faith.
Resolving your custody dispute in a traditional manner may give you less of a say about your children’s lives. By opting for a collaborative divorce, you can work toward creating a parenting plan that puts your family first.