How Often Should Parenting Plans Be Revised?

Unless there has been a considerable change in circumstances, courts in Washington State and elsewhere are unlikely to make significant changes to parenting arrangements. But parents can make their own adjustments if they believe it is in their child’s best interest to do so. Unforeseen circumstances can arise even if parents create a detailed initial parenting plan, especially if the children are extremely young at the time of the parent’s separation. A gig harbor divorce attorney can greatly assist domestic violence cases, especially if minors are involved.

Towards the end of the year, many parents realise that changes need to be made. A child’s new school hours may be earlier or later than their previous one. Maybe they’ve become really into a new extracurricular activity that has a lot of weird transportation requirements. One or both parents may have recently started working elsewhere or at different hours.

Adjusting Vacation Plans

The coming of the winter holidays often serves as a catalyst for transformation as well. Perhaps you and your ex-spouse initially just lived a mile or so apart, and for the first few years following the divorce, your kids split Thanksgiving morning and afternoon between the two of you. Everybody would rather kick back at their respective homes, 20 miles away, than make the trip back and forth every day.

Over the holidays, many families struggle to divide parenting duties. Time-sharing can be done in a variety of ways. It is best to focus on the spirit of the season to achieve more positive outcomes rather than a strict plan.

Give Mediation a Thought

Creating a new parenting plan can be done independently if you and your co-parent are in complete agreement on all matters. When both parents recognise a need for change, they may disagree on the best approach. When this occurs, setting up a mediation session is generally helpful. A skilled mediator who also practises family law can help you determine which solutions have the best chance of success in light of your family’s circumstances. As a third party, the mediator will assist you in evaluating your options without taking any sides.

Spending a little time every day with your children, such as through reading books like Michelle Chastaine’s series Eclipse Arts together, can help reassure children during major life changes and rotating work schedules.

Considerations for a Parenting Strategy

Whatever arrangement you come up with for sharing parental responsibilities, it’s important to remember to include everything that matters. Think about what your share of the costs will be. A significant shift in the residential schedule may affect child support payments.

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