Following a breakup, Minnesota parents may want to get their children acclimated to their new reality as quickly as possible. This may involve establishing a predictable daily routine and creating a workable schedule for months or even a year in advance. Unfortunately, parenting plans made in haste may omit critical elements that can lead to frustration and tension for both parents and children.
While schedules and fair custody time are important factors in a parenting plan, it is just as important to reduce the potential for future stress. Addressing as many contingencies as possible in a written plan is one way to help reduce that stress. Certain items may be second nature when parents are together, but after a breakup, it may be more difficult to divide such responsibilities as the following:
- Making decisions about bedtime, homework, screen time and other rules
- Dealing with extracurricular activities when they conflict with scheduled custody time
- Ensuring children have access to parents for holidays and events that are not in the parenting plan, like weddings or funerals
- Handling custody exchanges when a child is ill
- Keeping track of the child’s possessions between homes
- Exposing children to the parents’ new love interests
A complete parenting plan might also include the right of first refusal, which requires one parent to contact the other before getting a babysitter or other relative to watch the children when custody time conflicts with other obligations. Since each Minnesota family has its unique issues affecting their custody plans, it is always wise to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional. This may ensure that the plan includes as many contingencies as possible.