Cindy Allen & Associates PLLC

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How a parenting plan can reduce conflict

Oklahoma parents may find working out child custody and visitation to be the most difficult aspect of their divorce, but creating a parenting plan might smooth the way for children and help to set up healthy boundaries for adults. Because it may deal with legal and physical custody as well as anticipating other issues ahead, a parenting plan can set the stage for a more amicable co-parenting relationship and assist with future conflict resolution. Even after their children are no longer minors, the arrival of grandchildren and other events might mean that parents will continue to be a part of one another's lives.

While in some cases a parenting plan may be put away once it is written, in others, it might serve as a way to avoid unproductive arguments about what was originally agreed upon and how issues such as one parent moving far away might be handled. A parenting plan also signals to children and others such as school officials that parents are taking their responsibilities seriously.

With enough contingencies in place, a parenting plan might even save parents having to go through litigation to implement changes in the plan after the divorce. If litigation turns out to be necessary, the parenting plan can provide guidelines until a new court order can be put into place.

With so many emotions surrounding discussions of child custody, a parent may find it useful to work with an attorney to put a strategy in place. Usually, for both parents and a judge, there is an effort to make decisions based on the child's best interests. In many cases, those best interests may be served by avoiding litigation, but this is not always possible. Parents with fundamental disagreements about issues like physical and legal custody may still have to handle the matter in a courtroom setting.

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