When developing a Rhode Island Parenting Plan, what are factors to contemplate? Courts consider "best interest of the child". But when considering a parenting plan, we consider large blocks of time with each child. What should you be looking at to determine if you and/or your co-parent should enjoy those large blocks of time?
· The history of family care-giving. Who was involved in caring for a sick child? Who brought the child to doctors/therapists? Were both parents nurturing?
· The work schedules and availability of each parent. Can someone who works from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. have the children overnight when at work? If a parent usually works every weekend, is it practical to alternate weekends?
· Whether a third party, such as a grandparent or day care provider, will take on additional day care. Sometimes, having reliable third parties care for children is a big factor, allowing both parents to work. However, be prepared for an emotional backlash if that third party is a new wife/husband. Even a grandparent may seem undesirable to a parent who considers that as extra time for the other parent.
· The distance between both parents homes. Parenting plans should take into account travel time. How much time will a child spend in the car between homes and/or school? If the children attend school in Warwick and one parent moves to Richmond or Tiverton, what is the effect of the drive time? And will the parents share the travel time or will one person be responsible for transporting the children back and forth?
· The ages of the children. Some plans work for younger children while different ones work for teenagers.
· The level of conflict between the parents. The greater the conflict, the more difficulty to maintain a parenting plan.
· The temperamental fit between the parent and child. Sometimes, one parent and a child may be oil and water and a parenting plan may not work until therapy may resolve issues.
You need to work with an experienced Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer or Divorce Mediator in making your parenting plan.