Communication Between Parents After a Divorce
After a divorce, you may want to have little to no interaction with your ex-spouse. While in some cases, you may be able to cease all contact with a former spouse, that should be a last resort when children are involved. To ensure the proper care of your children, you may need to co-parent with your ex-spouse. A parenting plan may prove helpful in that regard.
How does a parenting plan help?
A parenting plan is a document that outlines how a couple will parent their children after separation or divorce. While a parenting plan is a legally binding document (once both parties sign it), this contract does not need to include legal jargon. The best parenting plans use precise and straightforward language, which allows both parents to understand the terms of the agreement.
A parenting plan should speak to living arrangements and parenting schedules. If one parent has primary physical custody of the children, the agreement should include when the other parent will have access to the children and with whom the children will spend their holidays. You must also document how you will make parenting decisions, whether together or individual, in consultation with the other parent. Other matters that may be outlined in a parenting plan include access to grandparents and extended family, religious upbringing, health care and education. You must also determine how you will update the parenting plan as your children age. If you have a child with special needs, you should consider that as well when creating your agreement.
While a parenting plan will make it easier for ex-spouses to co-parent, the primary aim of the agreement is to ensure the well-being of your children. Therefore, the interests of your children should be at the forefront of your mind when drafting a parenting plan. Although a parenting plan must be detailed, it should leave some room for flexibility. The amount of flexibility a parenting plan will need depends on the ages of your children and the relationship you have with the other parent. If your children are at a tender age, the plan may require a great deal of flexibility. On the other hand, if you find that your ex-spouse is a difficult co-parent, the parenting plan may need to be more specific.
Do you need a divorce lawyer to create a parenting plan?
A parenting plan may be written in any format, and you can create one on your own without the assistance of a family lawyer. However, you should consult a family lawyer if you and your former spouse do not want to meet, there is a history of abuse or if you are having trouble agreeing on what should be included in the parenting plan. When you work through a family lawyer to reach a parenting agreement, there will be no emotions overshadowing your decisions. A family lawyer will also ensure you understand your legal rights and responsibilities before signing any document.
Are you searching for a Family Lawyer in Toronto?
If you are searching for a family lawyer in Toronto to help you create a parenting plan, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law. At Baker and Baker Family Law, we will work with you to create a parenting plan that will enable issues to be dealt with smoothly and with minimum conflict as your children grow, and your family’s needs change. With over 90 years of combined experience, we are in a strong position to help. So, give us a call today to schedule a legal consultation with one of our family lawyers.