Once separation or divorce occurs and a child custody situation is formalized, many parents choose to put together a formal parenting plan that determines how they will raise their children in light of recent changes. One of these child custody plans does not necessarily have to include legal jargon, but can focus on simply describing parenting arrangements, like how the parents will share information, when the parents will spend time with their children, and how parents will make decisions about their children.
As you craft a parenting plan with your former spouse, take into account the following factors for greater success:
- Living arrangements—Where will your children spend most of their time, how and when will you take them to the other parent’s residence, what will babysitting and childcare arrangements look like, and how far apart can the parents live from each other? These are just a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Vacations and holidays—Make a plan for which holidays your children will celebrate with each parent and what vacations will look like.
- Health care—How will decisions about medical or dental care be made? Think about this as well as how you will notify your former spouse in the event of a medical emergency.
- Education—Think about how you and your former spouse will make decisions regarding changing schools, attending school programs, meeting special educational needs, etc. for your children.
- Solving problems—Evaluate how you and your spouse will deal with conflicts, whether you will work through things independently or seek the assistance of a lawyer, mediator, or counselor.
This list is far from comprehensive, so if you and your former spouse are ready to devise a parenting plan that complements your child custody arrangement, consult with our professionals at Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region.