What to Include in Your Parenting Plan
A parenting plan can be a valuable tool for parents who share custody of their children. It can help them set common goals for the children and allow for a better understanding of their roles. Here’s what you should think about including in your parenting plan.
- Your child’s residential schedule. Where will your child live and when? Will your child stay with one parent during the school year and the other parent during the summer?
- Your child’s visitation schedule. If the non-custodial parent has visitation, you want to keep it as regular a schedule as possible. Include this in your parenting plan.
- A holiday visitation schedule. If possible, determine where your child will spend their holidays, including birthdays and anniversaries, and include this in the parenting plan to avoid confusion when the holiday comes up.
- Child care arrangements. If your child will receive care other than what you and your ex-spouse will be providing, put this information in the parenting plan. Include who will be taking care of the child, including grandparents, daycare centers, private babysitters, etc. Also include when childcare will take place.
- Disciplinary methods. Although many people overlook this particular aspect of child care, it’s important that you and your ex-spouse include possible disciplinary methods in your parenting plan. For example, if you agree that spanking is or is not allowed, it should be in writing.
- Decisions about medical care. If you have certain beliefs regarding medical care, such as whether or not to allow your child to have blood transfusions, vaccinations, etc. make sure these are outlined in the parenting plan as well.
- Decisions about body art and piercings. If your child is of age to receive piercings and body art, the parenting plan should include at what age you agree this can be done, if at all. For example, you and your spouse may have come to the agreement that your child must wait until he or she is 10 years old for simple ear piercing.
- Internet and cell phone use. If you and your ex-spouse have come to an agreement about how much internet use your child is allowed per day, and if your child will be allowed to have a cell phone, include this in the plan.
When to Contact a Family Law Attorney
Parenting plans are unique for each family. It’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who has the skills to help you set up a solid and effective plan. Call the Law Office of Barbara E. McNamara today for a consultation at (714) 740-2542.
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