Heymann & Fletcher
March 08, 2023

Tips for Creating a Custody Plan

Practice Area: Family Law | Tag: Child Custody

child holding face in hands with parents sitting in the background

Having to go through the divorce process is difficult enough, but the challenges grow tenfold when there are children involved. Child custody plans are complicated and can include primary custody of the child(ren), time schedules, visitation, drop-off, and pick-up protocols, and more. Creating an agreeable child custody plan can seem like an impossible task, but it is possible! We have dived deeply into the elements of divorce custody and have compiled the top tips to make the process easier for all involved.

  1. Consider your child's routine. Openly discussing where your child’s life seems to have the most focus can help neutrally determine who has legal custody. If you are moving to another county or state, but the child goes to school or has sports in your ex’s town, it may not make sense to split child custody 50/50. A weekend at your house is probably best so as to not uproot your child’s life. These decisions can be painful. But, considering what is best for your child based on keeping their lives consistent can help you accept the new reality.
  2. Be clear on communication. You may wish to sever communication with your ex completely. But with a child involved in the divorce case, it’s not so easy. Decide together on a civil and consistent way of communicating and making decisions. Perhaps texting daily updates may work best for you rather than calls. Keeping contact consistent and ensuring it is organized can make the process smoother.
  3. Remember the occasional occurrences. We may not think of it all the time but planning for things like doctors’ visits is an important part of figuring out child custody. Who will take them to appointments? Will you go together? This also includes who will be allowed to take the child on vacation, special events, and holidays. Setting guidelines will be an important part of this process and help you to move into this new phase of life with a plan in place.
  4. Be specific. Any type of plan relies on the details, but it is essentially important with legal documents and custody plans. Not to mention, it will be a relief to the judge that you are so thorough! Vague language or guidelines can create confusion and arguments down the road. A great example would be to outline what happens if one party has a family emergency on a day that they are supposed to have the child. Small but vital details like this can help avoid disagreements.

These basic tips can help set you up for success in creating a child custody plan. Keeping the child’s best interest in mind and really aiming toward amicable compromise will deliver the best outcome. Keep in mind, you may not reach 100% agreement on both sides for your final parenting plan, but this list should help get to a mutual compromise.