Parenting provisions are specific snippets of language that you put in a child custody or parenting plan to ensure that you and your ex are on the same page when it comes to rearing your child. These provisions lay the foundation of your future co-parenting relationship. They provide both structure and flexibility for smooth communication, enable parents to handle specific details and outline your obligations as a parent.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of things you can cover in your parenting provisions. Ultimately, you'll want to strike the balance of being clear enough to prevent arguments and loose enough to allow your plan to grow with you and your children over time.
A few parenting provisions every parent should incorporate
Here are a few parenting provisions you might want to consider incorporating in your parenting plan:
The parents won't argue or have heated discussions within earshot of the child
One of the goals of your parenting plan should be to protect your sensitive child from being damaged by the lingering toxicity from your marriage or relationship. One way to do this is that you agree to carry out all discussions and arguments out of earshot of your child. This will help you provide a calm, sensitive and nurturing environment for your young ones.
The parents will agree to parameters regarding drop-offs and exchanges
Some parents are always on time to every appointment. They show up five minutes early to every preplanned event and never miss a commitment. Others are perpetually late, sometimes making the other person wait 20 or 30 minutes before they show up. You can include a parenting provision that sets the rules of procedure for child exchanges.
For example, if a parent is late more than 10 or 15 minutes, the exchange is thereby canceled and the other parent will keep the child for that period. With provisions like this, you can also agree to specific locations that are appropriate for a drop-off, and list who is permitted to transport your child in these situations.
The parents will agree to cost-sharing arrangements
There will be many auxiliary charges not covered by your child custody and child support agreement. Your parenting plan can address how to split these costs, e.g., expenses for field trips, school supplies, uninsured medical expenses and more. You might split these costs 50-50 or you might implement another kind of split depending on your and the other parent's financial circumstances.
Draft your parenting plan with care
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different child custody provisions you can include your parenting plan. By reviewing other examples of parenting plans and talking with a legal advisor, you can gain more insight into the types of parenting provisions that will benefit you and your family.