If you ever stopped to make of list of everything you do in a week to care for and provide for your children, you would have a list several pages long. Wake-up time, bedtime, bath time, mealtime, school time, homework time, playtime, screen time, doctor’s appointments, childcare, and the list of responsibilities goes on and on. Now, imagine putting together that list for the next year of your child’s life for the next 10 years.
This is what parents who are separating or divorced must do. It’s called a Permanent Parenting Plan, and it is one of the most critical legal documents that you will create during your divorce. It maps out the goals, attitudes, beliefs, and schedules you and your child’s other parent will adhere to while raising a happy child who has a strong relationship with both parents.
What is Included in a Successful Permanent Parenting Plan?
A successful parenting plan includes a detailed schedule. It spells out which parent is “on duty” and which is “off duty.” The plan is tailored to each family’s needs. Taking into account their work schedules, the parents develop a basic time-sharing calendar. I encourage parents to talk about exceptions, such as holidays, birthdays, summer planning, travel with or without the children, and family traditions.
Parents often want to include agreements about screen time, school activities and religious education. They discuss extracurricular activities, medical decisions, decisions about driving, sleepovers, parties and more. Additionally, parents may discuss and make agreements about communication with the children when off duty. Some permanent parenting plans even include terms relating to discipline, rules at each home, and the children’s chores.
In addition to time and behavior at each parent’s home, parenting plans also provide guidelines to how information about the child’s education, health, religious, and extracurricular records are to be shared. Many parents distribute the parenting plans schools, doctors, etc. so they will know how to proceed when a parent requests sensitive information.
While it is important to use the permanent parenting plan to establish a visitation schedule, there are many other issues to consider in drafting a plan. Because some issues are hard to consider, the assistance of a lawyer is critical. Experienced County family law attorney, Crystal Wright, will help you create a parenting plan that shows the judge you truly have your child’s best interests at heart and that you are willing to work with the other parent.
Contact Crystal Wright Law to discuss your case today: (404) 594-2143.