Co-parenting in a post-divorce family tends to require overcoming certain obstacles. Accordingly, you must work collaboratively with your ex-spouse to ensure your children have what they need to grow up successfully. Having a well-written parenting plan is often a wise approach.
In the United States, more than 30% of children live in a non-traditional family. Co-parents often rely on parenting plans to make their post-divorce families effective. As you may know, most parenting plans address custody, visitation schedules, medical care, schooling and other broad topics. There are some unique subjects you may want to cover as well, though. Here are three of them:
1. Make-up time
When negotiating a custody agreement, you may have a good idea of when you are free to see your kids. Of course, life has a way of getting in the way. As such, you may want to consider addressing missed visits in your parenting plan. You can likely either decide to forfeit the visit or schedule make-up time. Addressing the matter in writing before it arises, though, is a good way to avoid a future argument.
2. Transportation between households
Your parenting plan probably outlines a visitation or custody schedule. Still, if you want to minimize friction, you may want to think about transportation between each parent’s home. You also may want to outline how, when and where custody exchanges occur.
Even if you or your former spouse is a stay-at-home parent, eventually, someone else will likely have to care for your children. As you may suspect, childcare is often a point of contention with co-parents. Therefore, you may want to designate individuals to care for your kids in your absence. Alternatively, you may choose to include a first right of refusal provision in your parenting plan. With one, you have the first option to see your kids if their co-parent is unavailable.
Parenting plans allow you to outline important parenting obligations. While addressing broad topics is important, covering unique ones may help you avoid future disputes with your ex-spouse.