3 Benefits Of Coming Up With Your Own Co-Parenting Plan

Everyone always hears about how difficult it is to go through divorce court when there are kids involved. In so many cases, one parent wants full custody and child support, while the other wants shared custody and no child support. Instead of putting aside their differences and coming up with their own co-parenting plan that is best for the children, the dueling exes look to a judge to give them what they want. The only problem is that there is no guarantee you will get what you want—and, even if you do, it may not be what will benefit your child the most. Here are three benefits of coming up with your own co-parenting plan with your ex.

1. You have a better chance of getting some of the things you want.

When you and your ex come up with your own co-parenting plan, you will usually do so with the help of a mediator instead of a judge. A mediator is a third party, without a vested interest in the outcome for either ex, who helps you both come to some sort of a compromise in whatever issue is at hand.

For instance, in the case of creating a co-parenting plan, the mediator will try to get you both to compromise on the issue of legal and physical custody, child support, who pays for extracurricular activities, which parent get the children for each holiday, etc.

When you go through mediation to create your own co-parenting plan, you have a far greater chance of getting at least some of the things you want. After all, it's not a judge sitting there coming up with that they think is best. And, you don't have to agree to anything in mediation if you don't want to. The co-parenting plan only becomes valid once it has been entered into the court as part of your divorce proceedings and the judge signs off on it.

2. You can save a lot of money with mediation.

One thing that most people know about divorce court, especially when child custody is involved, is that it can be very expensive. Going through mediation to come up with your co-parenting plan can be far less expensive than fighting it out in court. When you go to court, not only do you have to pay a divorce lawyer a lot of money to represent you each day the case is before the judge, but you also have to pay court fees.

With mediation, you usually don't need to hire your own attorney to represent you because you know what you want and can speak for yourself. Also, the mediator is more than likely an attorney, so they can make sure the co-parenting plan is legally valid.

Of course, you can always benefit from a consultation with an attorney prior to going into mediation. Still, even if you have to pay for a consultation so that you understand the various parts of your child custody case, you will likely still pay far less than you would if you took the child custody battle with your ex before a judge.

3. You can allow your child to have a say in the co-parenting plan.

Another benefit of coming up with your own co-parenting plan with the help of a mediator is you can allow your child to have some say in it. After all, kids feel helpless when their parents get divorced and fight over who gets custody of them. 

Instead of alienating them and allowing a judge to say how often they see each parent, have your kids join you in mediation and ask their opinion. Not only can it help them feel like they are not completely powerless, but it could also help prevent them from resenting one or both parents.

When it comes to creating an effective co-parenting plan, both exes have to understand that they are not there for themselves. They need to focus on what is truly best for the children and allow the mediator to help them come up with a plan that will benefit everyone involved. For more information, contact firms like Grenadier, Starace, Duffett & Keisler, PC