Your parenting plan is a blueprint for shared custody when you and the other parent of your children end your relationship. Both married couples divorcing and unmarried parents splitting up can benefit from the creation of a formal parenting plan.
However, a parenting plan is only as good as the consideration that you put into creating it. Learning about some of the common mistakes people make when drafting their parenting plan can help you avoid making those same mistakes with yours.
Being too vague about time-sharing arrangements
Some people are so eager to create easily adaptable custody rules that they don’t include enough specific detail. Having a standard time that you exchange custody is often beneficial even for families that often have variable schedules. So is outlining the specific division of parenting time that you aspire to achieve.
It is always possible for parents to make adjustments and changes when weekly scheduling demands necessitate flexibility. However, it will be much harder for you and your ex to seamlessly manage co-parenting when you must re-negotiate terms every week.
Failing to address deviations from the standard school week
Obviously, parents need to have specific arrangements in place for sharing custody during the school year and during summer vacation. Knowing what will happen during the average week allows the parents and children to plan their lives.
Unfortunately, some people don’t think about deviations from the standard five-day school week when drafting a parenting plan. What happens when there is a 3-day weekend? What about a half school day? Does one parent always go on school field trips, or will the parents alternate that responsibility?
Parents who address the ways their parental responsibilities might fluctuate in their parenting plans may have an easier time adjusting to unexpected disruptions to their schedules.
Not agreeing to rules for the children in the parenting plan
It is common for people raising children together to disagree about standards, expectations and discipline. Those differences will only become more pronounced once parents live separately.
When both parents agree to the same set of rules for the children, it will be easier for them to apply the same standards in both households. Children can’t lie about feeling confused about the limits on their tech use or bedtimes if they have the same rules in both houses.