Going through a divorce can be overwhelming. If you share children with your spouse, though, deciding how to parent them in a post-divorce world can be challenging. With the right parenting plan, you remove much of the uncertainty that comes from sharing physical custody.
There is no such thing as a standard parenting plan. On the contrary, parents must decide how to split parental responsibilities in a productive way. That is, what works for another family may not be right for yours. While you probably want to address education, medical treatment and other important matters, there are some commonly overlooked provisions that may improve your parenting plan. Here are four subjects you may want to address.
1. Negative comments
You do not want your former partner to disparage you to your children. By including a provision in your parenting plan that prohibits your ex from badmouthing you, you decrease the chances that your former spouse will disrespect you in front of your children.
You want to see your children as much as possible. If your ex schedules appointments, activities or other events for your kids during your parenting time, you may feel cheated. As such, consider using your parenting plan to prevent your former spouse from scheduling activities that take away from the time you spend with your kids.
3. Social media
Social media is pervasive in modern society. While you likely cannot completely shield your children from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, you can address social media in your parenting plan. With the right language, you keep control over how your kids use social media when you are not around.
4. Your child’s appearance
While a green mohawk may seem cool to your son or daughter, seeing one may make your skin crawl. With a simple provision in your parenting plan, you keep your ex from changing your child’s appearance until you both agree on the change.
What goes into your parenting plan is up to you and your ex. While you probably have tremendous flexibility in drafting the agreement, you may want to think about adding provisions that other parents often overlook. With a bit of careful planning, you can likely reduce future disagreements between you and your former spouse.