When a marriage or partnership is ending, parents are always concerned about what’s best for their children. The answer to that is easy – children, regardless of the number of households, need two, good enough, capable, attached and responsive parents with whom they can have strong, engaged relationships, free from consistent, disruptive conflict.
In the event that your intimate partnership is ending, either through separation or divorce, you will need a parenting plan. In the event you have never lived together, nor do you plan to do so, you will need a parenting plan. A parenting plan helps parents create organizational structure for their children and themselves about where and when children will reside with each parent, how holidays will be shared, the structure of vacations and how parenting decisions regarding education, extracurricular activities and other events in your children’s lives will happen.
In mediation, Anne will provide a safe platform for parents to learn to talk parent to parent and guide parents in transition to minimize the disruption of the ending of one family configuration and maximize the start of another configuration. As a neutral, Anne will help facilitate conversations to develop options and ultimate agreements for how they will parent their children now and into the future. She will help parents develop an appropriate narrative when they talk to their children about the divorce. And she will help parents develop skills on how to parent from two households in a healthy way.
The time it takes to build an effective parenting plan depends on a number of factors – the level of conflict between parents, if a child or children have special needs, if the parents will be living in different areas or separate states, the ages of the children and other factors. On average, most plans take between four and six hours to build, review, think about and come to a final agreement. Once parents have signed off on the plan, an attorney will need to write up the plan to be filed with the court.