After a divorce, there are many things that you will have to deal with within your family. It can be a stressful and emotional time, especially if you and your former spouse have disagreements about your futures. Having children between you and your ex can further complicate post-divorce plans, but there are ways to stay ahead of the game. A parenting plan is something that you and your ex must make in order to make your divorce easier for your children.
What Should Be Included in My Parenting Plan?
- Parenting principles/behavior. This section is important but often overlooked, because your behavior after a divorce is extremely important for your kids, but can be seen as unimportant in relation to other things. Decide with your ex-spouse what kinds of arguments or discussion will be hidden from your kids, or what kinds of social behaviors should not happen around your kids (such as illegal drug use, parties, etc.). Any methods of communication should be finalized in this section as well.
- Visitation schedule. This will outline when your children will spend time with the non-custodial parent. Many visitation schedules will have the children spend every other weekend with the other parent, but you should work out what’s best for both parents.
- Visitation exchanges. This includes details on how, when, and where your children will be dropped off or picked up for visitation. This is important especially if there is timing and location conflict between the two parents.
- Vacation schedule. Where will your children be spending birthdays and major holidays? Knowing the details of these arrangements will save you and your ex-partner some trouble and stress around the holiday season.
- Child support. The finer details of child support will be included in your child support order, but it’s still a good idea to address certain issues concerning the support of each child. The more details the better in order to avoid confusion so layout the general facts relating to child support in your parenting plan.
- Records access. Both parents should have equal access to any school records and school activities. Any medical records should also be equally shared but ensure that both of you have equal authority on any emergency medical decisions.
- Medical and educational expenses. Which parent will be responsible for health insurance for each child, how will uncovered medical expenses be paid, and how will private tuition or college expenses be handled? Make sure these details are answered in your parenting plan.
- Relocation. Lastly, ensure how visitation for your children will be handled if one or both parents move away, and figure out who will pay for travel expenses for long-distance visits.
We have experience in family law at our offices, so contact us today if you would like a family law attorney to assist you further with your parenting plan(s).