If you're creating a parenting plan with your ex-spouse, you'll have a lot of things to think about. For one, you'll want to ensure that your parenting plan honors the scheduling needs of both parents, while, at the same time, serving the best interests and emotional needs of your children.
Fortunately, many parents have been through this process before, and you will not have to reinvent the wheel. What follows is a brief list that will help you cover all of the considerations that you will want to include while finalizing your parenting plan.
The parenting plan checklist: Did you consider everything?
If you're concerned that you haven't considered everything while creating your parenting plan, this short list will help you make sure you've covered all your bases:
- What childcare responsibilities did both parents complete prior to separation?
- How involved were both parents with the extracurricular and recreational activities of the children?
- What are the unique needs of the children and what important things should you consider regarding the wants and wishes of each child?
- How capable is each parent with regard to taking care of the children independently?
- How will the parents share various responsibilities throughout the week?
- What is the nature of each child's relationship with the parents and how much individual time do the children require?
- What are the preferences of the children with regard to the parenting plan?
- Are both parents good at putting the needs of the children first?
- What actions will the parents take to keep the children from experiencing the disagreements and conflicts that are bound to flare up between the parents?
- How do you plan to advise your children about the parenting plan arrangements?
Did you consider all of your parenting plan needs?
Once you've honestly answered the above questions, you'll have the right kind of information to pin down a parenting schedule. Depending on your answers, that schedule might involve a 50-50 child custody split, or some other kind of arrangement that is suitable to the unique circumstances of the parents and children.