It is very common for parents coming into mediation, or when consulting with their lawyers, to request a parenting agreement that will last for years.
The emphasis of the discussions change from “how can we come to the most suitable care plan that considers the child/ren’s best interests?” to “let’s just get something on paper”.
Parties generally perceive a parenting plan as their safeguard that the other parent must also adhere to, preventing them from breaching agreements if there is a conflict or misunderstanding.
It is less likely to incorporate clauses that reflect the age and stage of their child/ren’s development if they plan with a set timeframe in mind. This is particularly true for parents with young children that are in their formative years.
Are parenting plans based on long-term solutions more sustainable than ones that are based on the age and stage of the child’s life?
We believe that both are essential and work together! In fact we have developed a tool in creating gradual/incremental care arrangements that evolve as time passes, and as the child progresses through each milestone, whether developmental or emotional.
Our method is to start with small bursts of time, and gradually increase this within an agreed time frame that considers many variables. As the child transitions through each phase, additional time is incorporated until both parents end up with their “ideal” parenting arrangement. This takes time, however, parties engage better when they know what to expect.
We offer a service that aims to consider:
Children’s age and stage of development
Their individual needs/interests
Level of coping and emotional development
Relationships with significant others or new partners
When to introduce change
How to transition through each phase
How and when to time certain events to maximise impact on the child
Expanding the parent’s mind to think creatively and come up with their own individual plan that best suits their child’s lifestyle