Going through a divorce requires making many decisions. For those who have children, these decisions are sometimes rather complicated. Creating a parenting plan means you have to look closely at how specific situations must be handled.
A parenting plan is your guide to making decisions as you raise your children. You and your ex will both have specific terms to abide by. Understanding what issues you may opt to address within the plan can help you to ensure that it covers everything you need it to cover.
Parenting time schedule
One of the most important parts of a parenting plan is the parenting time schedule. This dictates when each parent has time with the children. There should be a basic schedule, but there should also be terms for holidays, birthdays and breaks from school. This ensures everyone always knows what’s supposed to happen and that the children have time with both parents.
Decision making abilities
The parenting plan should state who makes specific decisions for the children. This should include at least medical and educational decisions. Some parents may also include religious decisions and any other category they deem necessary. While it’s not uncommon for one parent to have full control over specific areas of a child’s well-being, it’s also possible for both parents to work together to make decisions if they share legal custody.
Plans for when the child is sick
A child who’s sick and can’t go to school will need supervision. The parenting plan should outline who’s going to handle specific duties while the children are sick. It also needs to include information about whether parenting time transitions will be affected by illnesses.
Conflict resolution considerations
You and your ex won’t always agree on things. Having conflict resolution methods outlined may be beneficial. At a minimum, you should include terms that if things get heated, either party can take a pause to step away and calm down. This is also a chance to think more about the decision at hand.
The terms of the parenting plan must reflect what your children need. This must be set based on current needs because it might be modified in the future if the child’s needs change. Seeking legal guidance as you craft your parenting plan can help to ensure that it is effective and enforceable as your co-parenting relationship evolves.