Parenting plans are a modern concept which are designed to allow both parents to have significant impact on their children’s lives. Parenting plans are utilized in cases where the parents have joint custody of their children. Well drawn up parenting plans deal with major decisions concerning children’s upbringing and in addition can have a positive impact on children’s lives. Parenting plans also help parents who no longer have a relationship with each other avoid disagreements. A parenting plan can provide a structure with regard to how the children are raised.
Setting Up a Parenting Plan
Well organized and thought out parenting plans cover all aspects of children’s lives. The parenting plan establishes times and circumstances when the children are under the supervision of each of their parents. It lays out who is responsible for various aspects of the children’s lives. Parenting plans establish which days and times each parent will have parenting time with the children. It deals with dropping off and picking up the children from school, athletics, social events and visitation arrangements with friends and loved ones. The parenting plan is used to clarify how the children will celebrate their birthdays and with which parent those birthday celebrations will take place. In addition, parenting plans work out weekend visitation, holiday visitation, summer visitation and who will be with the children during school breaks for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Spring and Winter school breaks. In addition, parenting plans can deal with allocating time for the children to visit with their grandparents and other loved ones.
Parenting plans establish who will make decisions concerning significant medical issues involving the children. It lays out the ability of both parents to have access to medical records. Both parents should be notified pursuant to a parenting plan in case the children are hospitalized or injured.
In some situations both parents have their own medical insurance. The parenting plan will control which of the parents’ medical insurance will cover the children and if there are costs, how those costs for the medical insurance will be paid for by the parents.
Educational and Athletic Activities
A good parenting plan will work out who is responsible for pick up, drop offs and the costs of extracurricular activities, sports teams, travel teams, ballet, dance and all types of other after school and/or extracurricular activities. Decisions concerning the children’s education, religious upbringing are also dealt with in parenting plans. Attendance at parent teacher conferences and other school meetings involving the children are another area where parenting plans lay out a plan.
A well thought out parenting plan will deal with how a college education will be paid, whose responsibility the college education decisions will be and each parent’s financial responsibility towards the children’s college education. Parenting plans can also lay out the parents’ feelings concerning moral and ethical issues concerning their children. It can also indicate the children’s food allergy issues, clothing preferences, issues involving curfew and guidelines concerning how the parents will interact with each other and present their interaction with each other to the children.
Parenting plans are usually a good idea, especially when the parents actually abide by them!