Going through a divorce isn’t easy. And when you add children to the mix, it’s even more challenging as you have to make important parenting decisions. There are many factors you need to consider when making these crucial decisions; however, it’s important to keep the best interest of your child(ren) in mind.
Putting a parenting plan together gives everyone, including your children, an idea of what to expect life is going to look like moving forward. While things don’t always work out exactly as we plan and some things may need to fluctuate, your child(ren) will know where they will be staying, who they will be spending holidays with, where they will be going to school, etc. So how do you get started? Keep reading to find out.
Meet with the other parent.
Often, direct communication with your child’s other parent is the best way to start constructing a parenting plan. Make sure you communicate exactly what you wish to get out of the arrangement. While working together, it is important that you are both specific and detailed. Be sure to write down the decisions you collaborated upon together. If a decision is reached, write that down in detail too.
Plan out details.
More than just a parenting schedule, even the smallest details should be sorted out ahead of time. When you have a plan, everything tends to flow smoothly. And with raising children, you know that no matter how much you plan, it usually doesn’t end up exactly as you hoped. Details you should discuss may include:
- Your child’s education: public vs. private school, a college savings plan, etc.
- Discipline techniques
- Arrangements for vacations, holidays, and any breaks your child may have off from school
- Other pertinent issues you feel are important
Plan out financial details.
It is important to lay out all financial responsibilities as they apply to your child. Some of these expenses may include:
- Insurance costs
- Medical costs
- Clothing costs
- Who will claim the child on their taxes
- Other expenses:
- Cell phone
- Extracurricular activity costs
- And more.
It is best to map out who is going to pay for what before it becomes an issue. Children should not be caught in the middle or exposed to arguments about finances.
Finalize your plan.
In order to make your parenting plan legally binding, you must put your agreement into writing and file the document with the court. If you cannot come to a civil agreement to which everyone is satisfied, your next step should be to contact attorney Tracy Lyson at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys. Tracy can be contacted online or by calling 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.