Divorcing couples with children would do well to adopt a parenting plan checklist when it comes to co-parenting their children. Moving forward amidst separation, divorce mediation for separating British Columbia couples may make the difference between a relatively amicable situation and one that is wrought with anger, frustration and fear. Part of those mediation sessions should include the development of a checklist.
A parenting plan is a written document outlining how British Columbia parents will raise their children after divorce or separation. Not only will it speak to issues discussed in divorce mediation like access and custody, but it will touch on things like how decisions will be made that will affect the children. Will decisions be made jointly or by one person or the other? How will the separating couple share information between each other?And how will each parent spend time with the children?
First and foremost, such a plan should reflect the needs and interests of the children. It will also aim to reduce any friction between the couple by defining clear guidelines and expectations. Research has indicated that children will cope better with their parents’ divorce or separation if their parents cooperate with each other.
A checklist should contain enough details to be useful, yet flexible and realistic. Through divorce mediation, this checklist can help to earmark issues to think about in light of the children, although it doesn’t directly address such things as property division or spousal support. Parents know their children best but they can get help with a plan to help with their children from experts like counsellors, social workers and lawyers.
In fact, it is a good idea to seek out independent legal advice when it comes to divorce mediation. A British Columbia lawyer experienced in family law will be able to provide that advice. A lawyer will also be able to facilitate any changes made to a parenting plan fashioned through divorce mediation.
Source: justice.gc.ca, “Parenting Plan Checklist“, Accessed on July 29, 2017