Things to Think About

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​Parenting Plan: Residence

  • Do you believe your children should live primarily with you or with the other parent? If the children were to live with you, what efforts would you make to ensure that they spend time with and have a meaningful relationship with the other parent? If your children were to live primarily with the other parent, what efforts would you expect the other parent to make to ensure that your children spend time and have a meaningful relationship with you?
  • Assuming the children were to live with the other parent, when should they spend time with you? Weekends? Weeknights? Summer? Other?
  • What are your thoughts regarding the amount of time your children spend on the telephone with the other parent when they are with you? Would you like a set time for the calls or can they be spontaneous? Should the residential parent agree not to interfere with or listen in on these calls?
  • What restrictions or agreements should the two of you make, if any, about what happens if one of you moves from the area?
  • If you are separated by distance, whose responsibility is it to pay for the children to travel?

Parenting Plan: Extracurricular Activities

  • Are there particular sports or activities that are important to each of your children? Related to each activity, is one or the other of you more oriented toward that sport/activity than the other?
  • How will you communicate with each other about your children's activities?
  • Do you believe that the number of activities in which your children participate should be limited?
  • Are you comfortable with both parents attending activities? If not, how will you work out who attends when?

Parenting Plan: Spiritual Life

  • What kind of spiritual involvement do you want your children to have? What level of attendance in church, synagogue, or mosque is important to you?
  • Are there activities during the week in which you want your children to be involved?

Parenting Plan: Medical and Dental Care

  • What health insurance arrangements should be made for your children?
  • How will you pay for health expenses not covered by insurance?
  • How will you select medical and dental providers?
  • Do you want both parents to have access to medical reports, advance notice of examinations, notification of emergency care and the right to seek independent visits with care providers?

Parenting Plan: Financial Issues

  • How will the two of you share the costs of supporting your children?
  • Which of you will claim which children as tax deductions?

Parenting Plan: Holidays

  • What special arrangements would you like for holidays? Make a list of the holidays that are important for you to share with your children?
  • How would you like to handle your children's birthdays? Your birthday?
  • How do you propose handling the holidays that both of you want?

Parenting Plan: School

  • Do you believe that your children should remain in their current school system?
  • Should both parents have access to grade reports, notice of school events, extracurricular events, and visits with teachers?

Parenting Plan: Miscellaneous Issues

  • How would you prefer the other parent contact you? Telephone at work? Telephone at home? Mail? E-mail? Fax? A third party? Other?
  • What restrictions would you like each other to follow in communicating with the children about the marriage or the other parent? Will you agree not to criticize the other to the children? Should you agree not to use the children to deliver messages or information to or from the other parent? Do you want to agree not to discuss divorce issues or money issues with your children? What other understandings or arrangements would you like to have with each other?