If you are going through a divorce, one of the things that you should talk about with your spouse is a parenting plan. Once your divorce is finalized, a parenting plan works as a kind of guide to help you and your ex understand what you can or cannot do when you’re raising your children. The parenting plan has helpful information on your custody schedule as well as information on topics such as getting your child medical care or traveling.
When you write a parenting plan, you’ll want to make it detailed. Doing this helps make your life easier by making sure that you and your ex both agree on the terms of the agreement and can commit to raising your children the way you both agree is right. For example, your plan may state that your children will not be exposed to religion until they are in their teens or are old enough to choose to go to a church or other religious institution. You might include requirements for schooling or list particular people you don’t want to have around your child (and can agree should not be).
What topics should you touch on in your parenting plan?
In your parenting plan, it’s a good idea to touch on topics such as:
- Traveling and vacations, as well as how far or long you can go with your children
- How your children will stay in touch with extended family or friends
- What to do if your custody schedule has to change suddenly due to work, illnesses or other responsibilities
- How to deal with holidays and special dates when your child may need a unique schedule
- How to handle unexpected expenses
- How to handle expenses related to health care
- How to communicate with your child when they’re in the other parent’s care
- How you want to communicate with your co-parent
All of these topics should be discussed in your parenting plan, as well as any others that are important in your specific situation. Doing so makes it easier for you to refer back to this paperwork if you ever have concerns or want to enforce something you’ve agreed to.