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Getting Divorced with Kids? Consider a Parenting Plan Checklist

— August 30, 2022

As part of any parenting plan, it must be decided who will be responsible for driving children to and from school and to their sports practices and other extracurriculars.

For children, their parents are some of the most important people in their lives, even if their parents are divorced or separated. Because of that, when many parents decide to separate, they may begin looking at ways to structure a parenting plan that will take the best interests of the children into consideration. What are some things that parents should consider when hashing out a plan, though?

Divorcing couples have a lot to consider if there are kids involved. Who will pick the children up from school and drop them off? Where will the children spend the holidays? Family law attorneys in Connecticut, from New Haven to Bridgeport, are experienced in handling child custody cases and work with parents on a daily basis. If you’re recently divorced, contact a family law attorney today to work out a parenting plan checklist.

Parenting Plan Checklist

A parenting plan refers to a written agreement between the parents that details the responsibilities and rights of each parent when it comes to their children. This plan is actually key to ensuring parents work together for the benefit of their children. When drafting a parenting plan, parents should consider the following questions:

Where Will Children Reside?

Perhaps the most obvious question that parenting plans must address is where children will live. Will they stay with mom or dad? Both? What will the schedule look like? Will one parent have the children on weekends and the other parent have the children during the week? These are questions that need to be answered.

Legal Decisions

Ideally, both parents will have an equal say in legal decisions for their children. These decisions may involve matters relating to the children’s education and health. When both parents have equal say in these decisions, it is called ‘Joint Legal Custody.’ In Connecticut and many other states, this is the goal of many parenting plans because it is believed that having both parents involved is in the best interests of the children. It’s important to note that, depending on the unique situation of a family, joint custody may not be possible. Sole legal custody may be granted to one parent if the other has a history of child, substance or physical abuse, is incarcerated, or is otherwise unable to properly care for a child.

Health Insurance

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Not only is it a federal requirement for children to have health insurance coverage, but the state of Connecticut requires it as well. In a divorce, the parents must decide which one will provide health insurance for the children and how the premium will be paid. Costs related to health insurance are often considered when calculating child support payments.

Childcare Expenses

For working parents, child care is a must, but it’s expensive. In a divorce, the parents must decide who will cover this cost or if it will be split down the middle.

School and Extracurriculars

As part of any parenting plan, it must be decided who will be responsible for driving children to and from school and to their sports practices and other extracurriculars. Perhaps one parent will cover drop-offs and the other will do the school pick-ups.

Holidays and Vacations

Every parent wants to spend Christmas with their children, but in a divorce, parents may have to be flexible about sharing their time. Mapping out an agreement about holidays, vacations, and other special parties and events in a parenting plan will help avoid issues down the road. Figuring out who the children will spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, school vacations, summer breaks, and other celebrations is a key part of a parenting plan.

If you’re going through a divorce and would like help setting up a parenting plan, contact a Connecticut family law attorney today.

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