Parents in North Carolina who are getting a divorce may find that a solid parenting plan helps them to set boundaries and can aid in adjusting children to their new lives. The process of creating the plan can be an important one because parents may need to discuss and come to an agreement on a number of possibilities. A sound parenting plan may even assist in conflict resolution later because having everything in writing prevents arguments about original agreements.
Legal custody is one aspect of a parenting plan. Usually jointly shared, legal custody refers to who has the power to make important decisions in a child's life. It is separate from physical custody, which determines where a child lives. A parenting plan will also often have provisions that might deal with a variety of issues including what may happen if one parent decides to move to another state.
Studies show that lower-conflict divorces are less difficult for children, and working together to create a parenting plan may reduce that conflict. Doing so lets children know that their parents are taking their well-being seriously despite the divorce. Problems might be anticipated and resolved before they arise. If a change in circumstances occurs, it might be necessary to go to court to have the agreement altered, but the plan can guide parents' actions until then.
Attorneys may be able to work with parents in crafting a parenting plan. In fact, parents may be more satisfied with a plan they put together in this way rather than going through litigation and having a judge make these decisions. Negotiating outside of court might also be a more low-conflict way to approach the plan since a court case tends to create an adversarial atmosphere.