During a divorce, the court acts to ensure that your children spend time with both parents to forge healthy emotional bonds. With several parenting models from which to choose, you and the other parent should develop something that works.
North Carolina law requires you to create a parenting plan that sets out how post-divorce parenting will work. It acts as a physical custody schedule and memorializes other agreements you and your ex make regarding parenting. Consider your options when choosing the arrangement that makes sense for your family.
Is co-parenting the norm?
The co-parenting model is the standard arrangement for child custody. In this agreement, you and your ex create a moderately equal shared custody plan. You agree to minimize differences between the two homes and consult on major decisions. Co-parenting requires you both to set aside differences to communicate and remain proactive for child-related issues.
Is parallel parenting an option?
If the thought of remaining in regular communication does not feel plausible, a parallel parenting plan may prove a better option. This plan allows you to develop a set of rules and standards by which you both agree on how to parent your children on separate but parallel tracts. You also agree on a method to communicate with each other. Many parallel plans require only written exchanges or a neutral party to act as a go-between.
Is nesting plausible?
A newer alternative called nesting is gaining popularity in post-divorce custody. This is a schedule where your children would not leave the primary residence. Instead, you and your ex would take turns living in the home with them on the designated timesharing days. Nesting would require you to have another residence to go to on your non-timesharing days.
A solid parenting plan is only as effective as you and the other parent make it.