Rhode Island allows parents to draft their own parenting agreement. If the parents can’t come to an agreement, then the judge will hold a hearing or trial to resolve the issues.
Using a mediator
Using a mediator is a good idea for creating an effective child custody and support schedule and parenting plan. Mediators have skills in facilitating negotiations to help each side express themselves and understand each other while maintaining peace. Even if you’re not on bad terms with your spouse, a mediator could make the process less overwhelming. They may have unique ideas to help you come up with an effective parenting agreement.
Preventing future conflict
The odds are that you will eventually have to adjust the parenting agreement. Your child may be young now and need a 2-2-3 schedule, but once they’re older, they can change to a weekly or bi-weekly rotation. One parent may have to relocate because of work. There are many possibilities that can render a once-great plan impractical for your circumstances.
You should include a system for revising the parenting plan and for resolving potential disagreements that arise. Although you may think that you have covered all the important aspects of co-parenting, you could face a new situation in the future. You may have forgotten a factor, or a new matter could come up for debate.
For instance, let’s say VR technology comes out after you created a parenting plan. You and your spouse may not agree on whether your child should have a VR headset. Consistency in rules is important for children. Ideally, you will want to find a middle ground with their other parent that both of you can agree with.
A lot of thought and discussion with your child’s other parent goes into creating a successful parenting agreement. Make sure to cover all the bases, including terms for resolving future disagreements or addressing a change in life circumstances that would affect the agreement.