Divorce Parenting Schedule

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Tips and Guidelines regarding Divorce Parenting Schedule

A divorce implies that marital relationship has been terminated, but not the parental one. This has to be reorganized to include the new responsibilities and role of parenting separately. Often due to the lack of a good parenting, children of divorced parents become arrogant, mischievous and destructive. The solution to all these is to have a well-balanced divorce parenting schedule. A 'parenting plan' is a legal and written document that defines how the parents should share the financial obligations, care taking responsibilities and time of the child. Such a schedule should be useful as well as flexible. The prime intent of this schedule is to attain the best interests of the child.

It may be challenging to implement a parenting schedule. Some of these are relocation of a parent, remarriage and disability. When one of the parents dies, this gives rise to several questions about the responsibilities and rights of this parent's family. There might be modifications in the custody and support terms of the surviving parent.

Highlights of Divorce Parenting Schedule

A proper and effective parenting plan can bring good changes in the life of a child. Some major features of a parenting schedule are described here:

  • It is advisable that both the parents conduct a yearly review of the schedule, preferably together. During this discussion, they must decide of the provisions that need to be continued and the ones that need to be altered. .

  • As the age of the child increases, so does the cost of raising the child. When the child is young, the parents should include a cost of living clause in the schedule. This clause should consist of a plan for costs in addition to the basic expenses like college, tuition, etc.

  • There are some occasions when a parent feels the need of a babysitter overnight. At this juncture, the other parent has two options:

    • To have the child with him/her
    • The right of first refusal

    This is a good opportunity for the other parent to spend extra time with the child while simultaneously assisting the parent in need. Moreover, this extra time does not impact the custody or support schedule.

  • For feasibility in the routine, the parenting schedule must have some flexibility. This is essential to avoid returning to the court. For this, the parents can make private agreements that are acceptable to both of them.

Pertinent Points regarding Divorce Parenting Schedule

The following points must be remembered while taking any major decision related to parenting schedule:

  • The decision regarding physical and legal custody impacts the child support agreement. So, the decision pertaining to custody need to be made before discussing support.
  • If the child develops special talents or pursues certain interests, this might lead to additional expenses. If it is feasible, such costs should be made a part of the parenting schedule.
  • Regarding payments of health insurance, there are different options like those stated below:
    • One parent could make the payments
    • The payments could be divided between the parents in a 50:50 ratio
    • The parent, who has better coverage, might make the payments
  • The parenting plan should contain information regarding which parent should pay for the prescriptions and services that are not covered by insurance co-payments.
  • Let us assume that the relevant parent fails to fulfill the financial obligations of child support. Further, the child becomes aware of this fact. Consequently, the child might form an impression that the relevant parent does not have love and interest regarding him/her. So it is better to discuss the situation with the child, especially if he/she is an adult.

A successful parent plan can be executed if you know the basics of co-parenting. Lets have a quick brush-up of the golden rules of co-parenting:

  • Never use any demeaning or derogatory terms against each other. In many cases, parents use abusive language, intend to insult each other which is not at all acceptable. Remember what the children see, they will learn and thus all these behavior will adversely affect his emotional growth.
  • Both the parents should learn to respect each other's way of parenting the child. One should not interfere with the parenting schedule followed by the other. If you have any issues regarding the parenting schedule, you can discuss it later in a calm atmosphere, but not necessarily in front of the child/ children.
  • If some necessary changes are to be made in the parenting schedule, these should be informed to the other parent first, and then only to the children.

The importance of a divorce parenting schedule is paramount. This schedule will make the parents understand their individual and shared responsibilities in a better way. Learn the golden rules of co-parenting which will help you to maintain the schedule. Remember that you and your partner have left each other willingly because of your own issues and not the children. So make the children feel that he/ she is as much wanted and loved by you as before and the parenting schedule will help you in achieving that aim.

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