Begin Discussing Your Parenting Responsibilities
When it becomes evident that you are headed for divorce, it is important to start planning for the process. You will need to have a good understanding of your current financial situation and what constitutes your ideal post-divorce scenario. Depending upon the circumstances of your relationship with your spouse, you may be able begin negotiating the terms of your divorce agreement. At first, of course, such discussions would need to be relatively informal, but you and your spouse can at least start talking about the future. The conversation is even more important if you have a child or children together, so that you can both better understand the role you are to play in your child’s upbringing.
Determine a Primary Residence
Among your first child-related concerns should be which parent will assume responsibility for a majority of the parenting time. This is an important consideration in determining where the child will attend school. The parent who does not have the majority of the parenting time will most likely be responsible for paying child support. Just because one of you has less parenting time than the other is not considered to be a reflection on your parental rights; rather it is more of a logistical determination.
You and your spouse will also need to discuss how you will make significant decisions regarding your child’s life. You may agree to cooperate and make each decision together, or you may determine that each of you should have separate but complementary responsibilities for decisions about your child’s education, medical care, or religious training. You and your spouse may have particular areas of strength or strong feelings about a specific area of your child’s life that make one of you better equipped to handle related decisions.
Parenting Time Schedule
One other very important element of your discussion should how to arrange a workable schedule for each of you to have a reasonable amount of parenting time. The details of your arrangement will need to be customized to meet your anticipated living situations, transportation, and your child’s ability to adjust to changing environments. If he or she does not adapt well, consider longer stretches with each parent if possible, while a child that adapts more readily may be able to handle going back and forth with greater frequency.
Your preliminary negotiations with your spouse can go a long way toward developing a mutually acceptable parenting plan without the need for court intervention. For assistance in creating such an agreement, contact an experienced family law attorney in Geneva today. Our knowledgeable team will work with you in drafting a parenting plan that both meets your needs and satisfies the requirements of the state’s new laws on cooperative parenting. Call 630-232-9700 today to schedule a confidential consultation.