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Top things to include in your parenting plan

When it comes to a parenting plan, there is more to include than a weekly custody schedule. You can write in key points about your future relationship and interactions, such as exchange locations and times, that can relieve stress and prevent arguments later. Here is a list of things you may not have thought to include in your parenting plan.

Activity time

You may have been planning to split the time in half, but this can often cause contention down the road when one parent realizes they have less activity time than the other. This can happen when one parent is awarded routine school days, when the children are often doing homework or gone at extracurricular activities, and the other parent is given all weekends, when there is plenty of time for relaxing and bonding. As you determine a schedule, be sure to consider how much activity time you will each be getting.

Holiday time

Similar to activity time is holiday time. If the parents live far apart, it can be difficult for them to split holidays since the children spend the majority of the time at one parent's house, but arguments can arise when one parent gets all the holiday time. In order to avoid this, it might be smart to split equally the number of holiday days off, no matter who has the children more during the week.

A reexamination date

Circumstances change, and what works now might not work in the future. Even if you created the perfect plan, you may find that there are plenty of flaws when it is actually put into action. Consider including a clause in your parenting plan to set a date for reexamination and discussion about how things are going in the future. You may want to bring a mediator to this meeting to keep things civil and focused on the child's best interest. Some parents find it useful to set a fixed date, like the first of January each year, so that there can be a periodic review.

Property division

This may sound strange, but it can be a good idea to decide up front which of the child's possessions will be stored at each house. Some things, like toothbrushes, will likely need to be duplicated, but toys and gear may need to be split. It can be smart to determine which items will be used more at a particularly house, such as a bike, and then divide the rest of the toys evenly.

The best way to ensure your parenting plan is complete and thorough is to enlist the help of an attorney. Contact an experienced lawyer to look over your agreement and ensure that nothing is missing to save time and hassle in the future.

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