How does a parenting plan work in terms of child custody?

When Massachusetts parents decide to end their marriages they often must make difficult decisions about what to do with their children. Family law courts throughout the state will guide or even dictate to parents, depending upon their situations, the child custody arrangements that they must follow. Child custody plans can result in one parent having sole custody over his children or with the parents sharing custody in joint arrangements.

Since divorce results in a single household becoming two separate locations, parents who live apart can no longer consult each other regarding all matters concerning their kids. From big decisions about schooling to less monumental decisions about bedtimes and nap schedules, parents can find it difficult to get on the same page as their ex-spouses once they no longer live together. A parenting plan can help exes establish common ground regarding decisions relevant to their shared kids.

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts have published an informal document regarding how to create an effective parenting plan. The suggestions contained therein guide parents through the developmental stages of their kids’ lives and provide direction toward what types of matters parents should discuss. For example, parents of 6-year-olds to 9-year-olds should find ways to communicate about changes in their kids’ peers, behaviors and extracurricular interests to ensure that they do not miss warning signs of problems afflicting their offspring.

A parenting plan is simply a way for parents to effectively communicate about their children after their marriages have ended. They can be important tools for keeping the peace after acrimonious divorces and can help children adjust to living in split households and as dictated by their child custody determinations. While the information contained in this post should not be read as specific legal advice it may introduce Massachusetts parents to a tool available for addressing post-divorce parenting quarrels.

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