Because each child is different, one-size-fits-all template parenting plans can lead to unnecessary problems. Why is this? What does it have to do with the child's age?
A baby or toddler generally needs more frequent visits of a shorter duration to develop a solid bond with each parent. School age children, on the other hand, need stability during the week and often start to have their own busy schedules with friends and extracurricular activities.
Best interest factors: Now and future
When a relationship ends, parents - whether married or not - must think about the best interests of their child. In Minnesota, there is a long list of best interest factors that a judge reviews when parents cannot reach agreement themselves.
Age of the child affects many of these factors. Creating a current workable parenting time schedule is tough, but failing to look toward the future can result in repeated co-parenting conflicts.
How does this happen? An example
Parents of a toddler might agree to a joint custody arrangement. If they live in different parts of the state - Mankato and Richfield - an every other week schedule might work well until their child reaches kindergarten. If they have not planned ahead, this already difficult transition for their child could spark new conflict between the parents.
A parenting plan can be forward looking. You can and should plan for known transitions such as kindergarten. Working with a family law attorney is one way to develop a cooperative, lasting solution.
Regardless of age, all children need consistency in the homes of each parent. That means it is crucial to find a way to communicate effectively about your child. Resolving custody issues in a collaborative manner can be a start. The office of Janet L. Goehle can help you reach a plan that makes sense for your whole family now and into the future.