Establishing a parenting plan is a critical step in completing your divorce or separation. Parenting plans outline a wide range of aspects related to the future of your child and the rights and responsibilities of each parent.
A well-crafted parenting plan includes details related to visitation agreements, living arrangements, and other factors that serve the best interests of your child.
Parenting plans can also define how religion, education, and medical needs will be addressed. Including these in your parenting plan prevents unwanted issues and supports the wellbeing of your entire family.
Parenting Agreement Essentials
A parenting agreement is a finalized outline of the decisions made and agreed upon by both parents during a divorce or separation.
The details included in a parenting agreement can vary depending on the circumstances. In general, it will address any of the following issues:
- The residence of the child
- Visitation rights and scheduling
- Legal custody as it relates to managing the child’s upbringing
- Dispute resolution
- Contact with extended family and friends
Working with a skilled family law attorney lets you create a parenting plan that meets all of your needs while looking after the best interests of your child.
Parenting Plans and Religion
Religious upbringing can be a sensitive topic that leads to disagreements between parents and other family members.
In some cases, one parent may be concerned about religious practices and their potential influence on their child. These and other similar issues can be addressed in court with the proper legal resources.
Disputes related to religion can be easily resolved when you understand how legal custody can influence the court’s decision.
Courts typically refer to established written or oral agreements when addressing religious disputes. That’s why it’s important that your parenting plan is as specific as possible when it comes to establishing the religious upbringing of your child.
Parenting Plans and Education
Decisions related to education include the location of the child’s schooling, education expenses, attendance of meetings with school officials, and other factors.
Details related to your child’s extracurricular activities can also be included in your parenting plan to further specify how your child’s educational experience will be carried out.
Parenting plans may include provisions related to the receipt and sharing of school records, report cards, notices for field trips and other events, and school photos. Parents must provide each other with information related to drop off and pick up times.
Monitoring school assignments and ensuring that all homework is completed are considerations that can also be included in your parenting plan.
Parenting Plans and Medical Needs
The ongoing medical care for your child is an essential element to include in your parenting plan. State and federal laws are in place to ensure that parents provide adequate healthcare coverage for their children.
Family law courts can determine which parent will be responsible for providing coverage to the child if the parents are unable to agree on their parenting plan. Healthcare deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket expenses must also be considered.
The employment of each parent, coverage obtained from their employers, and the financial status of each parent are factors that can influence how courts will determine the responsibility of providing medical care in a divorce agreement.
Expenses can be divided according to their income, and in cases where both parents have health coverage through their employers, a primary and secondary plan will be established for the child.
Looking after your child’s religious, educational, and medical needs are just some of the requirements of creating a comprehensive and effective parenting plan. Consulting with a family law attorney helps you determine what options are best for you and your child.
More importantly, a parenting plan gives you the peace of mind in knowing that all of your child’s needs will be met while fostering a healthy relationship between the entire family.