A parenting plan is used by parents who no longer live together or who have gotten divorced, yet both still want to be involved in their children's lives. Parenting plans are a great way to end fighting between parents over how different issues will be handled. Parenting plans allow the parents, or the judge, a way to determine which schedule is best for the family based on their circumstances. So, how do I put together a parenting plan in Ohio?

The first step in creating a parenting plan is to answer the following questions:

- How old is the child?

- What is the personality of the child?

- How mature is the child?

- How flexible are the schedules of the child and each parent?

- Do the child or parents have any special needs?

- What type of relationship does the child have with any siblings?

- What are the child's wishes?

- What is the likelihood that the parents will be able to cooperate and communicate?

- Will there be a need for childcare?

- Will each parent be able to consistently exercise their parenting time?

- Is it possible for regular and frequent contact between the child and both parents?

- What are the religious practices of the parents and the child?

There is no set model for a parenting plan. In fact, parenting plans should be created from scratch with each individual case. The most important part of putting together a parenting plan is to do so based on the age of the child. Children of different ages will require different types of care, which is why you must create a plan based on their age.

Parents preparing to create a plan should learn the various vocabulary used in these plans so confusion does not set in when reading a plan or writing a plan. The plan should be created with the other parent's help, even if the couple does not get along well.

Source: Ohio Supreme Court, "Planning for Parenting Time Ohio’s Guide for Parents Living Apart," accessed April 13, 2017

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