When creating a parent plan during the collaborative process, it is important to remember you as the parents have more control and input than when creating a custody schedule in a non-collaborative divorce. A typical custody schedule outlines the where and when of the child or children’s daily life. A well-written parenting plan can elaborate on a number of issues and topics which will help guide your decisions when raising kids across separate homes.
Co-Parenting Plan Checklist
- Extracurricular Activities – At what age a child or children should participate, in what specific activities as well as how much will be allocated to these activities throughout the years.
- Summer Plans – What will the children be permitted to do each summer throughout their childhood and how much will be allocated to support this?
- Religion – How will the children be raised and at what level of observance? If a large celebration is a norm in their religion, how will they be planned and paid for?
- Birthdays – How will the child or children celebrate their birthday each year? Will that celebration be large or small and how will it paid for?
- Cell Phones Usage – When do the parents agree their child or children should get a cell phone and how will the account be handled, monitored and paid for?
- Social Media Usage – At what age will the child or children be permitted to use social media? How will it be monitored and by whom?
- Bedtimes and Curfews – At what age and times do the parents agree to set bedtimes and curfews throughout the years?
- Dietary Issues – How do the parents agree to handle any and all dietary issues regarding their children?
- Medical issues and Plans – How are the child or children’s general and more specific medial needs going to be addressed?
- Travel – Where and when are the children allowed to travel throughout their lives?
- Educational Plans K-12 – Where and how will the children be educated throughout the years? Public school, Private school, cyber school or homeschooling? How will it be financially allocated if there is a cost involved?
- When and How to Introduce Children to Future Partners – How do the parents agree on when and under what circumstances the child or children will be introduced to significant others?
Your parenting agreement should include a plan for how you and your co-parent will resolve issues as they arise and how to communicate about your children without conflict or consequences. General morals and values can be incorporated into your parenting plan in the collaborative process. This allows for each parent to influence their child’s upbringing with the support of their co-parent. Collaborative Practice is an alternative to traditional court litigation. Collaborative Practice provides individuals with a safe environment, outside of court, to discuss sensitive family matters and help you to reach solutions that consider the needs of everyone affected. Learn more about Collaborative Law and the Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
About Shana Schwartz MSS, LCSW
Shana Schwartz MSS, LCSW provides individual and family counseling, parent consultation, school consultation and parent coordination services. She has specialty areas in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, depression, behavioral and adjustment disorders.
Ms. Schwartz holds additional post-graduated training in Mindfulness, Parent Coordination, Mediation, Custody and Collaborative Divorce. The focus of her work in each of these practice areas is “Putting Your Children First”.
Click here to learn more about Shana Schwartz MSS, LCSW