If you and your spouse have children together and are getting a divorce, one of the most important aspects is the development of a solid parenting plan. A parenting plan is designed to give the children stability. It’s also designed to help the parents. These guidelines are followed while you’re going through an emotionally difficult life change. Here’s your parenting plan checklist.
Make Sure Your Parenting Plan Revolves Around What Is Best for Your Children
First and foremost, a parenting plan needs to put the best interests of the children first. Be sure that your parenting plan not only meets the basic needs of your children, but also nurtures them, allows them to maintain a positive relationship with both parents, and allows them to grow and feel loved.
Your Parenting Plan Checklist
Include the following in your parenting plan:
- Where your child will live, e.g. with one parent primarily or with equal time at the residence of both parents
- Details about the drop off and pick up expectations when physical custody of the child is transferred from one parent to the other
- How parents will communicate with each other regarding the child’s needs
- Any childcare arrangements that will be needed, such as babysitting or day care
- How circumstances that could affect the arrangement will be handled, e.g. if the child or parents become ill
- What belongings the child has and which belongings will be at which parent’s residence (in many cases, duplicate belongings will need to be purchased so the child has everything they need at each residence)
- How holiday arrangements will be made and which parent the child will spend time with during which holidays
- Religious considerations, such as what church, if any, the child will go to and with which parent
- How medical care for the child will be handled
- How emergencies involving the child will be handled
- Which parent will provide health insurance for the child and ensure that premiums are paid and/or paperwork is kept up to date
- Which parent has access to medical records for the child and has the ability to make decisions regarding the child’s medical care
- What educational facilities the child will be enrolled in
- What extra-curricular activities the child will be enrolled in
There are many more items that should be considered and included in a parenting plan. Fleshing out a fully formed and comprehensive plan can be challenging. Contact family law attorney Kevyn Noonan Hayes, P.A. today for more information at 239-591-6248.