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If you’re working through custody issues in Kentucky, you may be wondering what the best option is for your family. In most cases, divvying up parenting time proves to be in the best interest of the child at the center of the custody battle, although this can be a difficult process for many parents. Accordingly, The Washington Post explains the important role that parenting plans play for many divorced couples.

For many years it was believed that one parent should be awarded sole custody while the other would be privy to visitation rights. However, in recent years many courts have been reluctant to use this standard in the belief that both parents should have a healthy and loving relationship with their child. Shared parenting is the preferred option in this case, and it’s reflected in the way the courts talk about custody. For instance, instead of referring to sole and legal custody, many courts speak of decision making (i.e. who is responsible for making major decisions on behalf of the child) and parenting time.

One solution to this changing view is to mandate equal parenting time across the board. However, that is also challenging. Consider that one parent may work longer hours than the other or live further away from their child’s school. As a result, a mandate of equal parenting time can be hard to enact and might even impact a child’s relationship with either parent.

A better solution is for both parents to sit down and hash out a parenting plan. These documents spell out all the important considerations when it comes to custody, from visitation schedules to how major decisions will be made. Parents work in conjunction and reach compromises based on their parenting abilities, jobs, and any other considerations that need to be made. The needs of the child will also be at the forefront of any parenting plan. If parents are unable to compromise on their own, they can seek out the assistance of a mediator or lawyer. The needs of each family are bound to be different, and a parenting plan allows for these differences to be considered to ensure the child’s best interests are kept in mind.