As a parent, you know that your divorce will change the relationship that you have with your children. The end of a marriage requires that every member of your Indiana family adjust to new schedules and lifestyles. This is not easy, but you and the other parent may be in agreement about one thing — to provide security and stability for your children above all else.
One way that many parents do this is with a shared parenting plan. If this is what is best for your family, you will have to work along your ex to parent your kids, make important decisions on their behalf and help them through the post-divorce transition. Before you agree to any terms or start negotiating on a custody agreement, it may be helpful for you to learn about shared parenting and how you can still fight to protect your parental rights.
Shared parenting is not joint custody
There are various types of custody plans. The one that is right for your family depends on your needs, your goals, your kids and other factors that are completely unique for your family. In a true joint custody agreement, both parents share parental authority and parenting time equally. This is not necessarily the case for shared parenting.
In a shared parenting agreement, the time that you may have with your kids may not be exactly equal with your spouse. It does, however, mean that you will work together to raise your kids and allow them to have strong relationships with both of you. Shared parenting means you and your spouse will have to work together on matters like:
- Education and religious training
- Extracurricular activities
- Financial support for the children
- Medical care
- Extra or unscheduled parenting time
These are only a few of the things you and your spouse will have to work through and agree on as you share parenting responsibilities. This type of custody plan requires a commitment to the needs of the children and dedication to working together.
The right plan for your family
The right plan for your family depends on many factors. An assessment of your case can help you see what could work for you and how you can still fight to protect your parental rights as you pursue a reasonable custody plan. You may find it helpful to discuss shared parenting and other options with an experienced attorney.