When designing your parenting plan, you should be specific about such things as:
- Who will do the driving for pick-ups and drop-offs?
- What time will holiday and vacation periods begin and end?
- How much advance notice is required for choosing vacation times?
- Who will be responsible for childcare when a child is sick and unable to go to school?
- Who will schedule routine medical and dental appointments?
- Who will be responsible for buying presents for the birthday parties to which your child will be invited?
- How will you share the responsibility for your child’s birthday celebrations?
- If one parent is unavailable during that parent’s scheduled time, should the other parent be offered the opportunity to be with the child? Even if you are certain that you can work these things out as they occur, having a plan to fall back on is the best way to guard against conflict in the future.
Parents should remember that each child must be seen as an individual. Children develop at varying speeds, depending upon many things such as individual temperament, place in the family, and outside events that affect their lives. Separation and divorce present a series of major stressors in a child’s life and can cause a child to regress temporarily. If this regression happens, it may be helpful to adjust your parenting plan.