While a divorce or separation could be a tough process for British Columbia parents to go through, it is typically much more traumatising for children. Fortunately, most divorcing parents recognise the importance of equal parenting time to maintain their respective relationships with their children. Drafting a detailed parenting plan could be tricky, but help is available.
When preparing a parenting plan, it must be practical and useful; however, it must contain enough detail to avoid conflict. This document is focused solely on the best interests of the child, and parents must work their schedules around the needs and the interests of the child. The plan could specify whether they will make decisions about the child jointly or individually and how disputes will be handled. It can also detail the rights of each parent to share information about education and other matters.
Although templates of parenting plans are available online, the dynamics of every family are unique, and parenting plans could reflect that. Parents who draft their own plans can consider the child’s changing needs as he or she grows older. Although it is important to be specific about the parenting times of each parent, flexibility is equally important.
For divorcing parties in British Columbia to agree on parenting time is not always easy. However, an experienced family law lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance. If necessary, a lawyer might arrange the services of a divorce mediator to facilitate communication and compromise. With the combined support of such professionals, a parenting plan that suits both parents while not losing sight of the child’s best interests might be drafted.
Source: justice.gc.ca, “Parenting Plan Checklist“, Accessed on May 19, 2017