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Author Topic: TOOLS: Things to cover in a parenting plan  (Read 15262 times)
JoannaK
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« on: March 09, 2009, 09:08:42 AM »

Please feel free to list issues that have come up in your parenting situation that might have been avoided had they been specified in a parenting plan.

1.  All vacations and holidays, including days off from school.  Procedure for determining any changes (email, one-week notice, etc.)   Also children's and parent's birthdays.  (Our parenting plan specified that our son would be with each of his parents on our birthdays and we would switch years for his birthday.)
2.  The end of child support payments if the child turns 18, graduates from high school, or turns 21 (probably depends on your state, but you want to know how the child custody payments stop (automatic or if you have to go back to court) and exactly when.
3.  Grade school/high school choice of school and pay.  (If the other parent chooses to send the children to a private school, are you obligated to allow them to go?  Are you obligated to pay all or half?)
4.  Extra activities and/or school trips.  Who decides if the kids participate, who pays, is the other parent obliged to pay even if he/she is already paying child support and/or doesn't think the kid should participate?
5.  Children who are sick are not obliged to go to other parent's house for visitation or for scheduled exchange... time to be made up later.
6.  Moving things back and forth:  Both parents need to provide the staples for their kids at their house at their own expense:  Bed, bedding, ares for doing schoolwork, basic school supplies, basic clothes, toiletries, towels, over-the-counter medicines such as bandaids and motrin, decent food, etc.  Other items, outerwear, "good" clothes and shoes, musical instruments, things needed for school, prescription medicines, should go back and forth and the it is the obligation of the parent whose home the kid is leaving to make sure that the kid gathers up what is needed.  If important stuff is left behind, the leaving parent needs to bring it to the other parent's home or to school or allow other parent to retrieve it ... at the discretion of the other parent. 
7.  Exchange procedure:  No need for the parents to go into each other's home.  If kids are older, they can go back and forth between the car and the house, otherwise, other parent stays in the doorway.
8.  Problems with conflicting schedules and sports or school activities:  If transfer time takes place during an activity, how is transfer made?  If an activity will impact the other parent's time, how does this get resolved?   


« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 07:55:25 PM by livednlearned » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 10:32:17 AM »

Daycare Expenses.

DH was ordered to pay daycare expenses. (BM was originally ordered but then wouldn't pay, so in the final orders, it was agreed that DH pay with the child support calculation crediting him the amount)

Well BM figured that if there was no daycare expense at any given time, she should be reimbursed the monies. (Which is true to an extent because it is part of the calculation, but what she failed to take into consideration is that she, too, is responsible for a portion). Also to allocate the tax credit for the daycare for each child. BM claimed the expense even though the tax credit was taken into consideration in the child support calculation. (Basically, DH paid MORE child support to BM because the calculation considers the person paying the daycare expense is taking the credit because statute states that it's the right of the person paying) 

This caused more headaches and more arguments but was finally addressed the second round in court. (Where BM represented herself and stated that the child support calculation is just wrong) The modified decree states that DH still pays daycare, gets the tax deduction, and at no point needs to reimburse BM for the expense. Common sense to everyone BUT BM. To this day she still says its wrong.
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JoannaK
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 02:07:12 PM »

Thanks, Dreamgirl!

I would add that all tax credits and school credits should be resolved if possible.
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 03:54:54 PM »

Hi Joanna,

While reading this list, I realized that if ANY SINGULAR item on that list were handled according to any particular rule with any particular level of respect or consideration, my husband and his ex would not be divorced.  Maybe it's because they are on the extreme end of the spectrum, but there is absolutely no consideration given ever on any of the items listed, regardless of the  fact that rules have been established on some parts.

A kid is sick?  She'll use the kid and put him/her in the middle.  The rule is disregarded.  Come and fight it.
A cost for an extracurricular activity?  She puts the kid in the middle.  Campaigns on it.  A kid in tears.
Procedure for handling exchanges set up?  She walks all over it.  There she is, right at the curb, on "her lawn"
and the kids "aren't ready."
She picks what school they'll go to, then we'll be "informed" about it.  Never mind that it's 45 minutes away from where we live and from where the kids were born and lived.

And on and on and on.

Like I said, maybe our situation is off the chart.  All you can do is eat SH..T and smile, because fighting it only feeds her need to fight and have conflict.  The kids (9 and 12) are too young to understand, and explaining each and every situation winds up having the effect of abuse.  The truth compromises their relationship with their mom.

I find that Divorce Poison doesn't go far enough in many respects.  I would love to book an appointment with the author and ask him how we should handle the crazy making.   The bar gets higher and higher, and we go from one outrageous scenario to the next, all the while having to pretend that this is normal. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 05:53:34 AM »

Having a clearly defined schedule--for us, that included all dates and times--has removed much of UBPD's power to manipulate. It took ten-plus years and a PC (with whom we were not thrilled, but still) who ultimately created a calendar for every single day between now and end of HS.

We can now make plans to include SD15, something we could not do before. Family and friends can make plans to include SD now. What a feeling when we received a "save the date" magnet for a bat mitzvah and could look to see SD was able to go!

I believe our order also states DH is custodial parent when SD is with us, and therefore can make decisions like missing school and travel plans for SD during her scheduled time with us.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 07:24:57 PM »

A very clear set of rules / hierarchy to cover all possibilities for conflict over schedule.

I think mine is watertight from conflict...

1) Holidays (listed and defined) override vacation
2) Vacation overrides parenting time (60 days notice, first come first serve)
3) Any discrepancy (like a Labor Day falling on a child's bday)  odd years go to father, even go to mother.
4) Different times when kids not in school due to breaks or undefined holidays (Presidents Day, Inservice Days, Veterans Day, etc).

No make up time.  I'd rather wait an extra day to see the boys than fight with her or have her 'claim' weekends.

I even went as far to say what is 'spring break'? Defined as shcool district's posted website. 

Leave nothing vague, nothing to be used as conflict.  I eliminated a  'special family events.'  Of course I will give up my parenting time or vacation for a funeral.  But what about the graduation party of the kids' third cousin?
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2009, 05:37:26 AM »

I just wrote this on another thread:

Quote
Now she seems to have "lost" the plan and is trying to make it up as she goes along.

If your plan is part of the court order, keep a copy with you at all times.  In fact, make several extra copies and be ready to show them or give them to school officials, the police, etc., as needed.  Keep one copy in your car, one at work, one right by your main home phone or in your briefcase/purse ... Or give that extra copy to your ex if she seems to have lost her copy.  Be ready to say, "Ex, we talked about this situation when we developed our plan.  On page 3 it says, "bla bla"."  If her answer is "I don't have a copy in front of me" or "that's not my recollection", be ready to fax her a copy... or set up a private blog and copy the thing into the blog and keyword the various major topics.  Then refer her to the blog.   
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JoannaK
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 05:41:06 AM »

Special events:

If you think this is going to be a problem, either she will want excessive special family events (like that third cousin's wedding) or she will refuse your special requests, you may want to specify a number of yearly "special family event days" with 30 days notice unless it is an emergency situation like a funeral.  You may give up your parenting time for a funeral in her family, but can you assure that she will do the same?
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 09:22:50 PM »

Thankfully, I was advised that you can get charged a lot by your attorney to write a parenting agreement from scratch...best to go in with a boiler plate one and have adjusted for no conflict, your circumstances and attorney's/ T's suggestions...

This is not a good one for a BPD, but a place to start to see what kind of things to put in...and where to start..


Boilerplate

http://www.chicago-child-custody-lawyer.com/sample_joint_parenting_agreement.php
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 07:31:48 AM »

Our attorney gave me a "boiler plate" and then told me to change it according to the various things we had discussed and my exh had agreed to...  Then I sent it back to her.  I wrote 90% of the customization and details of our parenting plan.
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