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What Is a Parenting Plan in a Custody Case?

A parenting plan is a necessity for any former couple who is trying to co-parent after a divorce. A written plan can make it easier for both parents to have input on the major decisions in the lives of their children. Our Morris County, NJ child custody attorneys can help you work out a plan that is in the best interests of your children.

What Should a Parenting Plan Cover?

There are many things to consider when making a parenting plan, but these four might be the most important. You need to make sure that both parents have input on:

Education: Questions of where a child goes to school should never be left to just one parent. Both parents should have input on questions like whether or not a child goes to private or public school, or what should be done if their child is falling behind.

Healthcare: Both parents should be able to agree on things like vaccinations and what should happen with their child when they are sick. Both parents should also have access to the medical records of their kids, just in case anything happens when they have custody or visitation.

Religion: Deciding what religion to raise a child in can cause conflicts. Deciding how you and your ex’s religions can play a role in your child’s life in a written parenting plan can help you avoid arguments later.

Extracurricular activities: Sports and other activities can cost money. They can also take up time that would normally be spent visiting with a noncustodial parent. It’s important to talk about what kinds of extracurriculars your kids can participate in and how the time commitments will be dealt with.

These are not the only things that a parenting plan can address though. You can discuss matters like how new partners will be introduced, how relationships with extended family members can be maintained, and what happens when one parent is ill during their time with the kids.

What If My Spouse and I Cannot Agree on a Parenting Plan?

Some former spouses have trouble communicating. If that sounds like you and your ex, then you may want to go to a mediator. A neutral third party may make it easier for you and your former spouse to agree on important tenets of your parenting plan.

Does This Plan Only Last Until My Child Turns 18?

Your responsibilities as a parent do not just end at 18. Your plan should also account for how you will address college costs and other expenses your child might face as a new adult. Maybe one parent pays tuition and another pays for room and board? With the cost of college these days, it’s a good idea to work this kind of thing out early.

Meet With a Family Lawyer

If you are involved in a custody case or struggling to develop a parenting plan of your own, our lawyers may be able to help you. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C. and ask to schedule a consultation. We will do everything that we can to assist you.