Parents in Washington who are sharing custody of their children will benefit from creating a detailed co-parenting plan that addresses everything from parenting time to how to handle future disagreements. A strong, detailed parenting plan can help them successfully raise their children for many years.
What Should a Parenting Plan Include?
While the basic parenting plan establishes custody and visitation, more detailed ones can go much further. Some of the issues that can be addressed in a co-parenting plan include:
- A detailed schedule of when the child will be with each parent
- How holidays, special days, and birthdays will be divided
- The specifics of travel and vacation trips
- How medical, educational, extracurricular, and religious decisions will be made
- Which parent will keep important documents such as passports
- Specific details regarding sleepovers, parties, and driving privileges
- How future parenting conflicts between the parents will be handled
Co-parenting plans can even include how parents will introduce new significant others to both their ex-spouse and their children. A detailed plan that attempts to cover as many future scenarios as possible can help parents amicably continue to co-parent their children. There also needs to be room for flexibility since the needs and situations of all the members of the family will continue to evolve.
Factors to Consider When Creating a Parenting Plan
To make a thoughtful, detailed plan, parents need to consider a variety of factors. These include:
- The work schedules of each parent
- The school and extracurricular schedules of the child
- The parents’ other interests
- The child’s age and needs
- Each parent’s rules for bringing up their child
- How parents prefer to communicate regarding their child
Creating an optimum co-parenting plan can help you and your family maneuver through conflicts and challenges. It can ensure that you continue to provide your children with loving, stable, supportive homes as they grow.