Arizona courts encourage divorcing couples to discuss a mutually acceptable agreement regarding parenting time.
If the parents work together, they can create a written parenting plan with the help of court-approved professionals and mediation services. Collaborating could allow them to craft an agreeable setup that benefits the child’s best interest.
To create a proper parenting plan, you should consider the following details about your child:
- Personality and behavior
- Relationship with each parent
- Relationships with other people such as friends and other family members
- Any conditions calling for special needs
- Each parent’s location of residence
- The flexibility of parents’ schedules to accommodate the child
- Availability of the necessary child care services
- Resources that could affect coordination, such as mode of transportation and designated meet-up place
- Parents’ ability to openly communicate and collaborate
- Differences in culture or religion
- Commitment to following the parenting plan
- Potential complications, such as mental health issues or domestic violence
However, the judge would still review your parenting plan and family circumstances to make any changes if necessary.
What else should I consider?
Aside from these factors, consider your child’s tolerance for demanding situations, such as being apart from one parent for an extended period for toddlers. Your plan should not pressure them to adjust immediately.
Instead, it should prioritize their welfare, comfort and sense of security. A parenting plan should allow each parent to bond with their child to help them adapt to life after divorce while fulfilling all their emotional needs.
Sometimes, parents cannot cooperate and agree regarding child custody or parenting time because of unique circumstances. In this case, the court will settle any issues and order an arrangement that prioritizes the child’s best interest.