Parenting Plans

If you have children, then they should be your top priority when thinking about your separation or divorce. Indeed, the Court is primarily concerned with what is in the best interests of the children.

A parenting plan has four key elements:

  • how much time will the children spend with each of the parents
  • how will decisions be made about the children, and who will make them (often jointly)
  • how will costs associated with the children be handled (including health insurance, out of pocket medical costs, extraordinary expenses, etc) and tax issues
  • the amount of child support that will be paid by one parent to the other to help defray basic costs for the children

Some people come to me with the thought that they need to have a lot of parenting time so that they will minimize their child support payments. Parenting time is only one part of the formula for determining child support. Frankly, child support is one of the last things that we address when helping people look at their financial settlement. As a mediator, I want to address the parenting plan very early on in our discussions because doing right by your children is the most important issue in your divorce.

One of the best resources I have found to help parents think about, and make good decisions about, their children, is the UpToParents web site. If you are considering divorce, you should definitely spend time on this web site and do all the exercises recommended.

For options about parenting plans, see this article on alternative parenting plans.

There are a few articles on our articles page on parenting which you may find helpful. And, here is a great list of links of web resources that can be of help to your children. Resources for Kids

Finally, you should do everything in your power to keep your children from being be in the middle of any dispute with your spouse. You should plan together how you will tell your children about your separation and divorce, and then stick to your plan. No matter how much you may be angry at or disappointed with your spouse, putting your children in the middle of your dispute only harms your children more than they may already be harmed. If you are having communication problems, or are experiencing grief or depression as a result of the divorce, then please seek the advice of an experienced and qualified divorce coach, counselor or therapist. Grieflink.net is a great resource for finding these professionals.

Parenting Classes in Colorado.  Click here for the list of Court Approved Parenting Classes by County.

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