Parenting your children after a divorce can be tough, but having a dependable parenting plan in place can take some of the pressure off your shoulders. A parenting plan goes over many different factors that impact raising your child, such as scheduling, conflicts, schooling and medical care.
A parenting plan that is well thought out will make it easier to work with your ex-spouse as a co-parent to your children. Here are some of the things you should include in your plan.
Your basic parenting schedule
To start with, you will want to talk through your basic schedule. You and your ex-spouse will need to come up with a schedule that works for you and your children. For example, you may share time around 50% of the time by having one week of custody and then transferring your children to the other parent’s care.
What should you do about scheduling changes?
There will be times when the schedule you created won’t work. For example, if someone falls seriously ill or an unexpected event comes up, you may want to alter your visitation schedule. Put rules into place now, so you know what to do when those situations occur.
Who can be around your child?
Another consideration you can include in your parenting plan is information on who you will or will not allow around your child. If you want extended family members to have access, it’s important to include them in this arrangement as well. If there is someone you think is a bad influence, you also have the option of agreeing to limit their contact with your kids.
Who pays for extra expenses?
Finally, one additional item to discuss is who should cover the cost of extra expenses, like medical bills, school trips or sport fees. Determine if you’ll split the costs or if each parent will be responsible for certain expenses.
These are just four topics to talk about regarding your parenting plan. There are many others that you may also want to discuss, depending on your own unique situation. Your attorney can help you think about different factors that may influence your parenting schedule and how you’ll want to address those in the future.