If you and your spouse are parents facing divorce, the court will want to know how you intend to continue raising your children. 

Mediation is a popular option for those who want an amicable divorce and a good choice for couples who wish to take control of their parenting plan. 

Choosing mediation

Divorcing couples who can work together to develop a mutually satisfactory divorce agreement often choose mediation. In this process, you and your soon-to-be-ex meet with a trained mediator, a neutral third party, who will provide legal guidance and help you resolve any sticking points. Mediation is faster, less expensive and less stressful than litigation. Studies also show that it creates much less anxiety in children than an often-contentious court process. 

Creating your parenting plan

There are two kinds of child custody laws: legal custody through which you will make major decisions for your children, and physical custody, which speaks to the children’s residence requirements and day-to-day care. You and the other parent will address both forms in your parenting plan along with other specifics such as access to school and medical records, transportation requirements, holiday and vacation schedules, childcare expenses and communication processes relative to the needs and welfare of your children. 

Focusing on the schedule

The parenting schedule is always a major focus in any parenting plan. While both of you will want to spend quality time with the children, you must take certain factors into account, such as the age of each child and their schedules at school. Mediation teamwork makes planning easier. When both parents are able to decide how best to raise their children rather than having to accept the determination of a judge, the parenting plan they create together will be a blueprint for success.