Child custody is a complicated issue to work through, no matter how amicable two Pennsylvania parents may be. To resolve these issues and avoid litigation, some parents decide to work on an agreement on their own, staying out of court and developing a plan that suits their individual unique needs.

If you believe that it is possible for you and your spouse to develop your own parenting plan, you could avoid the stress and cost associated with a court battle. However, this is not the right solution for every family, and you would be wise to consider every option before you make a decision that will affect you and your children for years to come.

The foundation of a strong parenting plan

Every good parenting plan should contain some essential elements that address most of the significant issues of child custody, including:

  • Sharing vacation time
  • Visitation schedule
  • Holiday schedules
  • Decision-making authority
  • Transitioning between two houses
  • Parenting time

In addition to these elements, you also have the right to include certain things that may be unique to your family. This includes things like the care of a special needs kid, the non-traditional work schedules of the parents and more. No one knows your family like you do, and you would be wise to make sure that your parenting plan suits your unique needs. This amount of control is not something that you would have if you choose to resort to litigation to resolve your custody disputes.

Some people think that they have to get along with their soon-to-be ex-spouse to negotiate a settlement out of court. That is not the case. You may be able to choose this option as long as both parties remain committed to the best interests of their kids and work hard not to allow emotions to drive their decision making.

The best future for your kids

Divorce is painful for every member of the family, including the kids. While this time of transition could be difficult, you can provide continuity of lifestyle and security with a strong parenting plan. With the right help and a commitment to the best future possible for your kids, you may be able to draft a parenting plan that is best for your situation.

Before you make any decisions regarding custody or visitation, you would be wise to fully explore all of your options. As a parent, it is prudent to know your rights and how to best protect your kids.