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Do you and your ex have a parenting plan?

39574737_s.jpgRaising children is a tall task, and can be even more so when parents maintain separate households. If parents are not on the same page or have trouble getting along, the outcome can be detrimental to a child. Even if parents do not see eye to eye or there is bad blood between them regarding personal matters, establishing a parenting plan can be a helpful way to ensure that a child's well-being is the priority of both parents. 

A court order will often detail basic terms for parents to follow, such as days when each parent will have physical custody of a child, times for drop-off and pickup, and other terms designed to make sure everyone is on the same page for smooth custody exchanges. Parents have the option to go the extra mile and come up with a parenting plan, subject to the court's approval, to help their specific family thrive. There is no standard for what such a plan can entail, but experts suggest a few key points to include. 

Parents should avoid making unkind remarks about each other in front of children. It is also important to keep each other up to date about a child's schedule, including school functions, sporting events and other things that may affect parenting time arrangements. Parents should also make an effort to respect the relationship a child has with extended family on either side. 

A Missouri parent that is interested in making a formal parenting plan can start by consulting his or her attorney. It can be helpful to have a knowledgeable third party to provide input when personal grievances might threaten the success of such a plan. An attorney can also help to arrange mediation between two parents, in appropriate circumstances, designed to create a custody plan where a child can thrive in a safe and happy environment. 

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