What Should be Included in a Parenting Plan?

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Paper cutout silhouette of a family split apart on a paper heart, divorce concept

During the mediation process the parties must consider and subscribe to writing a “Parenting Plan.” A Parenting Plan sets forth the time that the child/children spend with each parent. It is important to have a clear parenting plan, as this assists the parents in understanding their time with the child, helps resolve future conflicts, and prevents anxiety for the child.

In mediation, we discuss and resolve the following questions and issues, among others, to create a Parenting Plan that works for your family:

(1) Where will the child regularly spend his/her time? Who will have residential custody of the child?

(2) How many days a week will the child see each parent?

(3) Will the child sleep at both households and if so, how often?

(4) How will the parents share special times, like school vacations, birthdays, family events, and holidays? ·

(5) How will vacations be shared?

(6) Where will pick-ups and drop-offs of the child occur? 

(7) What happens if someone is late? 

(8) What happens if someone cancels a visit? 

(9) How will the parents handle conflicts with the parenting schedule? Is there a specific person that will act as a “mediator” or final “decision-maker” if the parents can’t come to agreement? 

(10) When a holiday falls on a scheduled visit, which takes priority?

(11) Will both parents attend all extra-curricular activities?

(12) Will the schedule be the same or different during the summer?

(13) Will both parents be involved in all day-to-day and major decisions?

(14) Can one of the parties relocate without mutual consent of the other?

(15) Can the parents take the child out of school to take them on vacation?

Aside from simply answering these questions, it is important for the parties to take time to consider what will truly work for their particular situation. Each divorce is different and each parenting plan should be tailored to make the transition easy and stress-free, if possible, for the children. The parents should establish a plan that works for their specific lifestyles. What works for one family may not work for another. The parenting plan should also account for flexibility, since many times people’s schedules change.

 Donath Law, LLC can assist you in creating a Parenting Plan that works for your family. For more information, contact Sheree Donath at sheree@donathlaw.com.