Creating a parenting plan can be one of the best ways to work with your ex and create an arrangement that supports your child’s needs. However, among decisions about custody schedules and medical care it can be easy for other details to be lost. While they may seem like a small matter, these details can also cause future stress and conflict in your family. What details might you have overlooked?
Special occasion visitation or custody
You may have planned for everyday custody concerns, and you may even have a well-laid-out plan for holidays. However, do you have a plan in place for summer vacations or family events? How will you handle hospital visits if your child’s grandparents become seriously ill? Planning for these occasions—happy or challenging—can help you avoid conflict with your ex and give you a clear plan for rearranging your schedule.
Plans for school emergencies
You may have a plan in place for your child’s school routine, especially if you share custody with your ex, but it is also important to plan for an unexpected day at home. As Forbes notes, planning ahead for sick days and other absences from school can be especially important for working parents because it allows them to prepare both for childcare and their absence from work.
Your child’s appearance
While most parents plan who can make decisions about a child’s medical care or how they will make choices jointly, changes to your child’s appearance could cause unexpected conflict. For example, one parent may support their child’s desire for a substantially different haircut, ear piercing or even hair dye, but the other parent may balk at that idea. If you and your ex have different expectations for your child’s appearance, it may be important to include a provision about how you will handle these changes.
Will your child have a time limit for daily screen time? Can you use extra time on a game system or tablet as a reward for good grades or behavior? What types of technology will you allow your child to use? As technology becomes an increasingly common part of children’s lives, it is also an essential consideration in your parenting plan.
With a carefully considered parenting plan, you can address the details that matter most and build a stronger foundation for coparenting in the future.