Your parenting plan will outline how you and your co-parent will take care of the upbringing of your children after your divorce or separation. As such, it is one of the most important documents you will devise together. A well-written, thorough, and clear parenting plan can help make it easier for the kids to live in separate homes and adapt to a new schedule. It can also help you and your co-parent stay organized and be better co-parents. So, what do you include in a parenting plan?
Parenting Plan Topics to Consider
There are many topics to consider when writing a parenting plan, which encompass everything from which parent will make important medical decisions for your children to who will oversee the kids’ nutrition to where the kids will go to school. While it may seem overwhelming at first to plan all these things out, remember doing so is in the best interests of your kids and will make your life easier post-divorce as well.
Here are some parenting plan topics to consider when creating a parenting plan:
This schedule will map out how you will divide time with your children between you and your co-parent’s homes. You can also include transportation plans on how to pick up and drop off the children. Maybe one parent will oversee transporting the kids to one house for one week and then the other parent will take over the week after. Some other questions to ask include: Will you drive the kids to and from each other’s homes, or will you meet and drop the kids off at a safe location?
Holidays and other special occasions
You will also want to determine how you will divide time on the holidays, including school breaks, vacation time, birthdays, and other special occasions. Will you divide time with the kids equally? Will one parent get to be with the children on Christmas day this year and the other the year after?
You should also consider travel and vacation time as well. This includes important information regarding how far in advance vacations need to be planned so the other parent can prepare. Also, if the children are flying, who will pay for their airline tickets? And are there any other considerations that need to be taken care of before a vacation, such as who will inform the kids’ schools that they will be taking time off?
Extended family members and friends
You might also want to think about how your children will spend time with extended family members and close friends. If there are any individuals you would not like around your children due to safety concerns, you should clearly state this in your parenting plan.
Expenses/costs of living
How will you and your co-parent handle your kids’ costs of living? You will need to consider school tuition, medical costs, food, clothing, extracurricular activity costs, dental appointments, childcare, special education (if applicable), tutoring, and much more. Will you divide these costs down the middle and share them?
This includes how you will communicate with your co-parent as well as how each parent will communicate with their children. How will you communicate? What method is appropriate? Is it texting, video chats, letters, emails, telephone conversations, or something else? Choose the method that works best for you and your family.
You will also want a determined method of communication that you establish with your co-parent.
If you require assistance creating or modifying your parenting plan, contact our office online or call us at (410) 593-0040 to schedule a consultation.