Child custody tends to be a topic that causes stress during a divorce. Even if you and your spouse are able to set up a good schedule for custody, there are other factors that you’ll need to consider as well.
For example, you’ll want to set up a parenting plan and have that plan as a part of your divorce. Why? You want to be able to refer back to your parenting plan when needed to make sure you and the other parent are raising your child the way you agreed to.
What goes into a parenting plan?
A parenting plan will have a few different pieces of information in it. It will list the custody schedule to start with. After that, some other items that you may want to include in your parenting plan include:
- Holidays and special dates that either parent needs to know about as well as the plans for those dates.
- Who your child is allowed to spend time with or communicate with, such as extended family or friends.
- Travel or vacation rules, such as if the trips have to be planned and approved by the other parent or how far away the vacation can be.
- How to handle changes in the schedule due to work conflicts, school conflicts, illnesses or other issues.
- Extraordinary expenses and how you’ll cover them between you.
- How you’ll communicate with your children when you’re away, whether that’s over the phone, by mail, via video chat or through other means.
- How you expect to communicate with the other parent. Address when you’ll accept calls or messages and what is or is not acceptable communication as well.
These are just a few of the topics that you’ll want to touch on in your parenting plan. Your attorney will be able to show you samples of plans or give you guidance on other topics you may want to include based on your specific situation. In some cases, parents need to address specific requirements per child in their parenting plan, especially if the children will live separately or have special needs that vary from one another.