There’s a lot to consider when you negotiate your parenting plan with your co-parent during your divorce. While scheduling, education, and religious training are all important, sometimes co-parents end up in serious conflicts over things they didn’t consider important enough to include in their parenting plan.
Let’s take a look at a few things that can become big issues for co-parents. Consider why they may be worth including in your own parenting plan.
Changes to your child’s appearance
This can involve anything from a new hairstyle to pierced ears to a tattoo. If you and your co-parent don’t always share the same views on these things (or even if you do), it may be worth placing some limits on what kinds of changes either parent can make or allow to their child’s appearance. Many parents just add a provision that says something to the effect that neither parent can “substantially alter” the appearance of their child unless they have the written consent of the other.
Your child’s electronics
When parents divorce, they often give children more electronics than they previously had. While that new iPhone might be partially purchased out of guilt, it also helps your child more easily communicate with the parent they’re away from.
Some provisions around your child’s electronics like phones, tablets, and laptops are wise to have. Some matters to address include when they can have their own phone and other devices, whether both parents need to approve a new device, what kind of parental controls will be placed on their electronics, how many games they can download, and how much non-school-related screen time they can have. Don’t forget to consider how you’ll divide the costs of these devices as well as various apps and subscriptions.
Parenting plans are as unique as the families involved. Consider what kinds of provisions your parenting plan needs – not just now but as your child gets a few years older. This can save you trips back into court and the time, money, and stress involved.