Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Divorce: Parenting Plan

I'm not much of a Tiger Woods fan, but I ran across an article in US Magazine.com about his divorce being finalized and so forth.  So it's not that I follow Tiger Woods or care much about his divorce to his wife, but I do have a soft spot for the children that are going through this as much as their parents.  My husband has three beautiful children from a prior marriage and I know that 'doing what's best for the children' is most important and so difficult when parents are going their separate ways.

Having older children that see what's going on is really sad.  It's hard to come up with the words to say what they had all of their life will not be there anymore.   One mistake is assuming that they don't understand and it is not necessary to talk to them at all.  This is so wrong.  Children can feel lost, confused, they may feel like things are bad because of something they did.  These are not things you want your child to feel.  As hard as divorce is on parents it is equally difficult for children, if not more.  What you do and how you handle your divorce, seeking what is best for the children, will potentially save them a life time of misery and bad relationships.

Well the article brought something to my attention that I was not aware of.  Divorce courts makes it mandatory to have a parenting plan, that seems like a valuable effort to protect the children.  Some of the categories that the parents add in the plan are as followed:

Pick the items you want to be included in your plan from our comprehensive list of plan options, including:
  • Primary and/or Joint Custody & Residence
  • Holiday Schedule(s)
  • Health and Medical Care
  • Emergency Treatment & Care
  • Pick up and Return Arrangements
  • Right Of First Refusal
  • Move-Away Restrictions
  • Telephone, Mail, and Email Contact
  • Transportation Arrangements
  • Transfer of Clothing, Toys & Accessories
  • Expenses - normal and extraordinary
  • Travel Arrangements and Conditions
  • Tax Deductions and HOH Designation
  • Current Address Notification
  • Daycare Arrangements and Information
  • Additional Home Resident(s) Clause
  • Employer Contact Agreement/Restrictions
  • Educational Arrangement & Schooling
  • Religious Education
  • Visitation/Parenting Time Denial
  • Grandparents and Extended Family
  • Child Discipline & Guidance
  • Conflict Clauses
  • Post-Secondary Support & Planning
  • Decision Making Rights & Responsibilities
  • Medication & Controlled Substances
  • Release of Records & Information
  • Vacation Agreement / Restrictions
  • Child Counseling and/or Therapy
  • . . . and much, much more!
(I so forget where I got this chart, I will keep looking for it)

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