Overlooked Provisions You Should Include in Your Parenting Plan
Overlooked Provisions Your Parenting Plan Should Include
A parenting plan is an important legal document that outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities to their children and to each other as co-parents. It may include factors such as where the children will reside, how many contacts each parent will have with them, how decisions will be made about their upbringing, and how finances and reimbursement related to childcare and other costs will be handled.
An effective parenting plan serves as a guidebook that details parental obligations and establishes expectations so that – ideally – both parents remain actively engaged in raising their children. Having a clear and agreed-upon parenting plan can help reduce some of the stress and anxiety associated with the transitions of divorce, making it possible for children to thrive in two different households. This can in turn help keep conflict to a minimum and ensure that everyone's needs are being met.
Because every family is different, every parenting plan should be tailored to suit the needs and circumstances of each individual family. Typically, however, a parenting plan will include elements such as a parenting time schedule and financial responsibilities - including health care, childcare, and school tuition. In addition to these important elements, there are several provisions that many people overlook when creating their parenting plan that we will discuss in this blog.
A parenting plan should not only provide a framework for co-parenting, but it should also protect the interests of both parents and their children. After a marriage breaks down, it can often be difficult for exes to maintain an amicable relationship. It’s important, however, that parents agree to avoid speaking negatively about each other to their children. Prohibiting badmouthing of the other parent in your parenting plan can help protect you both – as well as your children – from this kind of behavior.
Badmouthing can take many forms, from speaking ill of each other in front of your children to writing disparaging comments about them on social media platforms. This type of behavior can have lasting effects on children as it creates an atmosphere where they are constantly exposed to negative feelings towards one or both of their parents – leading them to feel insecure, confused, and anxious about their relationships with their parents.
It’s important for a parenting plan to include language that explicitly states that neither parent will engage in such behaviors as this sets boundaries and expectations around how each parent will interact with one another while providing clear consequences if either party fails to adhere to these guidelines.
Having this provision included in your parenting plan helps create an environment where you can work together collaboratively in the best interests of your children. By making a commitment to each other to remain respectful and civil, you can foster an environment where both parents are able to focus their energy on raising their child without any extra stress or anxiety caused by being undermined by the other parent.
Haircuts and Piercings
Haircuts and piercings may seem inconsequential, but many parents may feel upset if the other parent makes a unilateral decision about a major change in their child’s appearance with consulting them. To prevent something like this from happening, your parenting plan can outline how decisions will be made about major changes to a child’s appearance, such as haircuts and piercings.
Having this provision included in the parenting plan ensures that both parents have an opportunity to express their opinion on any proposed changes before they are carried out. It also allows each parent to provide input or guidance on what may be best for the child – from helping them decide which style may look most flattering to discussing safety concerns when it comes to piercings. By making sure both parents are consulted about major changes in their child’s appearance, you can help ensure that your children feel heard and respected by both parents while also fostering a sense of unity between co-parents.
Child Care and Right of First Refusal
When creating a parenting plan, it is important to consider who will be caring for your children and in what circumstances. A parenting plan can outline which individuals are permitted to care for your children alone and under what circumstances. This may include family members such as grandparents or extended relatives, babysitters, nannies, or teachers at daycare centers or schools. In addition, it should be noted if there are any restrictions on those individuals who are permitted to care for your children (e.g., age requirements) or any expectations that must be met (e.g., CPR certification).
Having this information laid out clearly helps ensure that everyone involved knows who is responsible for watching over your children – providing clarity around expectations and helping protect both parents from potential disputes related to childcare arrangements down the line. It can also help provide peace of mind knowing that you have taken steps towards ensuring your child’s safety even when they are not with either parent directly.
Additionally, it may also be beneficial to include a right of first refusal clause in your parenting plan – essentially giving the other parent the option to take care of the children before someone else is hired or allowed to do so. This ensures that both parents have an opportunity to spend time with their children should they want or need to, while providing flexibility as well if one parent is not available. Having this provision included in a parenting plan can help reduce stress for everyone involved and help foster an environment where co-parents are able to work together collaboratively to ensure the best possible care and upbringing for their children.
Communication and Expense Tracking App
Including a provision about communication and expense tracking in your parenting plan can help ensure that all relevant information is shared between co-parents in an efficient and organized manner, while also providing clarity around expectations when it comes to communicating with each other. This type of language in your parenting plan should outline the method or app you will use to communicate and keep track of everyday parenting expenses such as childcare costs or medical bills.
Having this clause included in your agreement sets clear expectations regarding how you will communicate with each other – from setting up times for phone calls or video chats to discussing issues related to parenting decisions. It also helps make sure that everyone involved knows what methods they should use when trying to get ahold of one another so there are no misunderstandings down the line. Additionally, having this type of language included provides an opportunity for both parents to agree on topics related to communication protocols (e.g., not using text messages after a certain hour) which can help reduce potential stressors associated with co-parenting arrangements.
Moreover, by specifying which app/method you will use for communication purposes, it makes it easier for both parties involved to stay organized and on top of any expenses related to the children. This can also be beneficial for keeping both parents accountable, as it creates an audit trail that is easy to access if there are ever any questions or disputes around parenting costs.
How Scaringi Law Can Help
Creating a parenting plan is an important legal process that requires careful consideration and attention to detail to ensure that everyone’s needs are met and the interests of your children are protected during every step of the process. At Scaringi Law, we understand the importance of having a comprehensive and effective agreement between co-parents that helps set expectations around how parents will interact with one another while also caring for their children’s needs.
Our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate this complex process. We have extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania child custody laws, and our team is here to answer any questions you may have about drafting your parenting plan so you can feel confident knowing that your agreement covers all relevant aspects necessary for building an amicable co-parenting relationship going forward.
If you are going through the process of divorce and would like help building an effective parenting plan, contact us online or call us at (717) 775-7195 to schedule a consultation.