You and your spouse haven’t had the perfect divorce. You’ve argued and disputed many things. Today, you’re finally starting to look at your parenting plan and agreements, so you can work on setting up a quality lifestyle for your child.
You have to put together a parenting plan to help you stay on track and to make sure you both have something to refer back to if you have questions about what you can or cannot do with your child. Your parenting plan should include a variety of different information including:
- Decisions regarding your child’s education, like where they’ll go to school or what classes they’ll take.
- Childcare decisions, such as where your child will go for daycare.
- Medical care decisions. You should acknowledge how you want to handle health-care-related decisions when your child is hurt or unwell.
- College savings information, such as who will deposit into the account and where the account will be held.
- Your regular visitation and custody schedule
- Information on your custody arrangements, such as where your child will live and how to get into contact with each other.
- A special occasion visitation schedule.
…and any other factors that play a role in your child’s upbringing.
Don’t overlook adding provisions to your parenting plan. For example, it is completely acceptable to make a provision that there is legal recourse for a parent if the other verbally or physically attacks them, speaks badly about them to their child or participates in brainwashing their child.
Another possible thing to discuss is “stealing time.” Your child may want to start participating in activities, but you and the other parent need to be on the same page about when those activities happen and where. No parent should be scheduling a child’s activities at a time when the other parent is supposed to have custody unless there is an agreement in place.
You may also want to add a provision to help you avoid court in the future. Add in that you need to go through arbitration or mediation if there is a dispute, so you can do your best to avoid litigation.
If you and the other parent are having a hard time coming up with a parenting plan that works, don’t think you’re alone. Many people struggle to do so. Your attorney will work with you to help you negotiate a parenting plan that makes sense and keeps your child’s best interests at heart.