By Robin M. Mermans, Esq. of ROAD to RESOLUTION
During a divorce journey, it’s common to create a parenting agreement that details custody arrangements and children-related protocols. However, there are many instances when these types of plans need to be reassessed. I’m a divorce mediator and collaborative family law attorney with over 15 years of personal and professional experience in this process. I work with divorcing spouses to create their parenting agreements and I also offer co-parenting guidance to families after their divorce. In addition, I’m a mom and stepmom who has personally raised five children under two separate custody agreements. My husband and I have made several revisions and updates to our parenting plans over the years. Here are three circumstances that may prompt a revision to your current parenting agreement:
Your Children are Hitting Milestones
As your children get older, you’ll need to update your parenting plan to better reflect their life stages. For instance, if the agreement was created when the children were infants, there will be obvious differences in their needs when they are teens. They may start driving, work a part-time job, or have demanding extracurricular activities. These situations often require an adjustment to parenting plans since your children may have their own responsibilities.
A Family Situation Changes
When a parent remarries, you may want to consider an update to your parenting plan. This may include adding the new stepparent to emergency and/or school contact forms. In addition, you and your parenting partner will need to discuss protocols for this new stepparent. Your parenting plan should also address disciplinary actions, parental roles and responsibilities, and morals and family values.
Someone Gets a New Job or Moves
If you or your parenting partner get a new job, there may be a need to revisit your parenting agreement. This could be the case especially if work hours change or if there is travel involved. Additionally, a new job may mean a move, whether that’s across town or out of town. This type of change would also prompt a reassessment of your parenting plan since it could have a direct impact on your parenting schedule and time with your children.
ROAD to RESOLUTION is here to help if you and your parenting partner need to revisit your parenting plan. There are many benefits to working with a knowledgeable family law attorney who has extensive experience in creating and updating parenting plans.
Note: This feature is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.
Robin M. Mermans is a collaborative attorney and certified mediator. She owns ROAD to RESOLUTION, a divorce mediation and collaborative family law firm, in Charlotte. Due to her unique perspective as an attorney, mother, and stepmother, she is an expert in shared parenting solutions and co-parenting guidance. She is committed to using her personal story and passion to help her clients save time and money, while avoiding unnecessary emotional turmoil during their divorce journey and on their road to resolution.