Trying to put together all the pieces of your parenting plan prior to your divorce or separation can be stressful. This is because as much as you want to create a detailed plan, there are many components to think about all at once.
To provide a little relief, it’s essential to create a plan that is as thorough as possible to the best of your ability. While many parents have a general outline of their parenting plan, there are some details that are often overlooked. Ask yourself these questions:
- What happens if the other parent does not show up to pick up our child?
- Who decides which school our child will go to?
- Who determines what doctor our child sees?
- How will your child spend holidays?
There are many more considerations parents need to make, these are just a few items that some fail to consider. Below are three details you should keep in mind that can help you answer these questions and more in your parenting plan.
Prepare for custody exchanges
Having a specific plan for how you will handle custody exchanges can prevent a lot of post-divorce stress. Outline when and where exchanges will happen. Decide if you will choose to meet at each other’s homes or if parents will pick children up from school when it’s their parenting time. Creating a process that you will follow if one parent is running late or hoping to make a change to the schedule can also be useful.
Split up parental duties
Thinking about how you will divide the duties you once shared will help keep your children living a balanced life and create a sense of organization during a time of commotion. This includes delegating who will take children to medical appointments and who will manage school and extracurricular responsibilities. Consider who will transport the children to and attend these activities and create a system for splitting all child-related costs.
Include a detailed plan for holiday time
Holidays are a common point of contention for many separated parents. For your child, holidays are likely to be lasting memories as they grow older, so it is important to make these days as positive as possible for them. Creating a thorough plan for holiday parenting time can help eliminate any conflicts in the future. Perhaps you would like to alternate holidays with the other parent, or maybe you want to share custody during holidays so your child can spend them with both parents. You may also wish to include contingency plans for when a parent is unavailable, or conditions for when one parent wants to take a vacation on a holiday.
Creating a balance of rules while providing some flexibility will help you create a parenting plan that your family can keep up and grow with.