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Factors to consider when drafting a parenting plan

The terms of your parenting plan will have a significant and lasting impact on your life and the lives of your children. It is in your interests to ensure that the terms are fair and sustainable and will allow your kids to have security and stability well into the future. There are certain steps you can take to ensure that all final agreements are practical and beneficial. 

When North Carolina parents choose to work on the terms of their parenting plan instead of resorting to litigation, it is likely because they are committed to making a plan that will work best for their kids. If this is your goal, you would be wise to consider various factors. Along with the best interests of your kids, you may also take steps to protect your parental rights. 

Things to think about before you move ahead

Divorce is complex and emotionally challenging, and it can prove to be quite difficult to set these emotions to the side and keep your focus on the ultimate goal – the best future possible for your kids and yourself. Some things to think about as you navigate this difficult process include the following:

  • Talk with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and understand his or her goals. This simple step may help you understand and empathize with each other, which can be beneficial for negotiations.
  • Be willing to compromise and work with your spouse to make sure he or she gets things he or she wants as well. When both parties feel heard and respected, it can make it easier to draft a workable plan.
  • When things are too difficult and disagreements abound, this does not mean you have to give up and turn to the court for a custody agreement. Take a break from negotiations, consider what you want and then come back to the negotiating table ready to try again.

A carefully drafted and thoughtful parenting plan can be one of the most significant gifts you can give your kids. Children benefit when allowed to maintain strong and healthy relationships with both parents, and your custody order should never be a weapon used to cause harm to the other parent. 

If you believe it is possible to resolve your custody matters out of court or you want to learn more about your rights as a parent during divorce, you would be wise to first get the information you need to make smart decisions. It may be helpful to consult with various parties, including an experienced family law attorney, before agreeing to any custody or visitation plan.

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The Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C.
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Wilmington, NC 28403

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