The Benefits of Parenting Plans
One of the most important issues that parents must work out is how their custody arrangement will be lived out each day. Parenting plans make the terms of custody clear and straightforward, as every aspect of the children's lives and the parents' time with them are laid out. Parenting plans can be very beneficial, as they help you avoid further court battles, provide predictability for the children, and enable everyone involved to know what to expect.
Additionally, creating a parenting plan gives the control of making both large and small decisions for your children to you and your former partner, rather than a judge who doesn't know your family. If you are interested in establishing a parenting plan, a lawyer from Claery & Hammond, LLP can explain your options.
What is involved in a parenting plan?
The most effective and beneficial parenting plans are those that cover all details of the children's lives, their relationships and time with the parents, and the parents' various responsibilities. Your parenting plan should cover:
- Parenting Time - includes custody schedules, drop off and pick up times, how birthdays will be celebrated, how holidays and vacations will be shared, when children will see extended relatives, and what rules the children will be expected to follow at both homes
- Medical and Dental Care – includes whose health insurance will cover the children, how costs not covered by insurance will be divided, how medical and dental providers will be chosen, whether you must both agree on medical and dental decisions, who will take children to appointments, and if both of you will have access to medical records and be notified in the event of an emergency
- Religion – includes whether you both agree on the religious upbringing you want the children to have, how involved the children should be in a religious organization, what religious organization the children should attend and with whom, and how you will resolve disagreements about religious upbringing
- School and Extracurricular Activities – includes where the children will go to school, who will care for children on sick days or days off, if both of you will be involved in teacher meetings and receive progress reports, what activities the children may participate in, who will pay for fees and equipment for extracurricular activities, and how you will communicate about changes to school and activity schedules
- Finances – includes how you will share the costs of raising the children, how the children will be claimed as tax deductions, how you will save for the children's college funds and futures, who will pay for property damage caused by the children, and whether the children will receive allowances
- Miscellaneous – includes such matters as how the children will be disciplined, the children's daily responsibilities, guidelines for the children's diets, entertainment, and clothes, and whether there should be boundaries between the children and you or your former partner's girlfriends/boyfriends
Enlist Guidance for Your Parenting Plan
Depending on your family's specific needs and circumstances, your parenting plan may include the items mentioned above and more. We understand that you and your former partner are most concerned with the wellbeing of your children, and our firm can help you determine what your family needs.
Our team at Claery & Hammond, LLP can assist you and your former spouse or partner with creating a plan that is right for your family's situation and ensures you have proper time with your precious children. To learn more about your options and the benefits of having a parenting plan in place, contact a custody attorney from our firm today!