When it comes to divorce, many families create a legally-binding custody and parenting plan for the children. The more thorough the plan, the less likely that there will be issues down the road. If you need to create a parenting plan, the following are some of the important aspects that your plan should include.
School and Activities
Decisions about schools and daycare need to be made right away. For example, who will be covering the costs of school, extracurricular activities, tuition to private schools, or daycare? Are there certain activities that one parent is opposed to for religious or safety reasons? Make sure the parenting plan specifically details how each parent is fiscally responsible and what activities aren't acceptable.
Health and Medical Care
Chances are, both parents want to keep their child healthy, but there can be disagreements on the best way to do so. At the most basic level, the parenting agreement should include information on who is responsible for maintaining the child's health insurance coverage and paying any out-of-pocket expenses. A notification clause, which dictates when the non-custodial parent is notified about health care visits, is also common. Further, the plan should address subjects that can be challenging, such as allowed vaccinations.
Birthdays and Events
Fighting over who gets to attend your child's birthday party is a sure way to ruin the day. Decide now how you will divide birthdays, holidays, and special events. Ideally, both parents will be able to work together and can share many of these events with the child, but if not, then a plan for dividing them equitably should be in place before the custody agreement is finalized.
Discipline will evolve as the child ages, so you'll only need a basic plan for now. This plan should include information on what type of discipline is not allowed, such as corporal punishment, as well as covering topics like preferred disciplinary methods, agreed-upon curfews, and basic technology access rules.
Finally, consider what will happen when you or your former spouse finally meet someone new. Bringing in romantic interests and introducing them to the children too early can be devastating if the new relationship doesn't work out, so it is common to include a clause in the parenting agreement to address when it is the right time to introduce a new significant other to the family.
Contact a divorce lawyer for more help when it comes to developing and presenting a parenting plan that both parties can agree with.