A well-written parenting plan in a Massachusetts divorce can make raising children in separate homes easier because it will act as a point of reference for what steps to take to manage various parenting situations as they arise.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing your plan is to keep every issue centered on maintaining your children's well-being and upholding their best interests.
To help you and your co-parent get started with writing your parenting plan, consider this checklist of issues not to miss:
- Parenting Schedule: This will determine how your children will divide time between your homes. Make plans for transportation between homes during parenting time exchanges.
- Holidays and Special Dates: How you will share time with your children over holidays, school breaks, vacations, and other special occasions for your family?
- Travel and Vacations: How far in advance do trips need to be planned? If the children will be flying, how will their airline tickets be paid for?
- Extended Family and Friends: Think about adding procedures for how the children will spend time and communicate with extended family, such as grandparents, cousins, and close family friends. If there are individuals whom you wish not to have contact with your children for the sake of their safety, bring this to the attention of your attorney while writing your parenting plan.
- Schedule Changes: How far ahead of time do you and your co-parent need to propose changes? How will you communicate about changes? What about changes due to an emergency?
- Making Important Decisions: How to make decisions about health care, discipline, religion, schooling, and much more should be discussed in your parenting plan.
- Expenses: How will your children's costs of living be covered? These will include things like school tuition, medical expenses, extracurricular costs, food, clothing, and much more.
- Communicating With Kids When Away: When you or your co-parent are not with your children, consider the ways that you will get in touch with your children. This is especially important to plan for if one parent cannot be with the children as much as the other. Phone calls, online messaging, video chatting and letters are all different ways that you might stay in touch while away.
- Co-Parent Communication: Having a determined method of communication with your co-parent is important for any family. Online co-parenting tools can be an excellent choice in this kind of situation. Decide the types of information you need to discuss and how often you must communicate.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.