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What should you include in a parenting plan?

If you and your spouse recently split, it could have been hard on your kids. Though you could not make your marriage work, you still want to be there for your children and be good parents. In order for this to happen, you will have to figure out a parenting plan that will work for you, your ex and most importantly, your kids.

Creating a successful parenting plan can be difficult, but it is important.

There are many elements you should put into a good parenting plan, and some of these may not be entirely obvious. You will need to create a schedule and an outline of how life is going to function for your recently-split family. Here are three elements of a good parenting plan you might have overlooked.

Holidays and school breaks

One major element you will need to think about is who will take care of your children over the holidays and during school breaks. You and you ex may both want to spend special times with your kids, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Your ex might want to take a vacation every summer with your kids.

You will need to work together to come up with an arrangement for these special times during the year that you both can agree upon.

Smaller holidays can also be forgotten when creating a parenting plan. For example, if your children are younger and still want to go trick-or-treating for Halloween, do you have a plan in place for who will take them? Which parent will get to be with the kids on their birthdays? These are other aspects that you may not have thought about at first glance, but are still important to consider while creating a parenting plan.

Other care providers and remarriage

If you have reason to have another person care for your kids, this is another aspect of life that should be discussed and thought about in your parenting plan. If you want to go out on a Friday night while your kids are home, who will babysit? You should consider having an agreed-upon other care provider with your children’s other parent.

If you are considering remarrying, you should also think about this in terms of your parenting plan. What level of guardianship will your new spouse have? If your ex remarries, what responsibilities should their new spouse have over your children?

Kids activities

Another important part of your kids’ lives are their activities. Extracurricular sports and other types of involvement should also be outlined in your parenting plan. Who is responsible for extra expenses for lessons or sports equipment your child may need? What are the regulations for attending your children’s recitals, performances or sporting events?

These are all more questions that are worthy of discussing when creating a parenting plan. As stated above, a solid parenting plan will help you and your ex create a happy and healthy life for your children after a divorce. A carefully thought out plan can ease stress and tension in both your lives and your children’s lives.

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Ian F. Mann, P.A.
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Fort Myers, FL 33901

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