There is no easy way for parents to share custody of their children. Yet the law in New Mexico, as well as many other states, requires parents to do just that based on the presumption that some form of joint, or shared, custody is in a child's best interest. Therefore, the result of most child custody disputes is the entry of a parenting plan, which is a written document that provides detailed instructions as to how parents will share time with, and make decisions for, their children.
A thorough parenting plan allows parents to side-step many of the pitfalls inherent in shared child custody situations., because it provides both parents and children with a predictable schedule and consistent solutions to problems that may arise. In general, a parenting plan should address legal child custody (which is the decision making process for the children in the areas of residence, education, religion, medical care and extracurricular activities) and should address timesharing by providing a detailed schedule of when and where the children will spend time with each parent.