What You Should Include in Your Rhode Island Parenting Plan

It's 4 pm on Christmas Eve and you're ready to begin the drive to your parents' home for family dinner but where is your child? With the other parent and now you're waiting … and waiting … and late.

The benefit of a detailed parenting plan is that details like pick-up and drop off times, holiday and vacation schedules, school conference and sports attendance, and hundreds of other details can be established in advance. The more clear and thorough your parenting plan is, the less likely it is that you and your child's other parent will experience conflicts that could make it difficult to co-parent.

Before you meet with your Rhode Island child custody lawyer ] to begin creating a parenting plan, write down a few notes that you can bring with you to your appointment:

  • What holidays are most important to you? How do you celebrate them? When does the child need to be present? If this holiday is also going to be important to the other parent and his/her family, how can your children also spend time with that family? Does one family celebrate at lunchtime and the other at dinner? Does one celebrate on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day? If travel will be involved for a holiday visit with family, how will that be handled and who will pay for it?
  • What are your family's religious beliefs? How will those be nurtured? If the parents have a difference of opinion about religious upbringing, how will those differences be decided?
  • What activities do your children do in the summer? Which parent typically participates in that activity with them? If no parent is involved, who can get them to and from their activities? Will your child travel for summer vacation or spring break?
  • Who are your child's most important friends? What activities do they do together? Which parent is most involved with that activity? Who will transport the child back and forth from that activity? Who will pay for it?
  • Is your child close to members of his/her extended family? How can those important relationships be maintained? Who will be responsible for ensuring the child visits that family member?
  • Does your child have a skill or ability that you want to ensure is nurtured? Who will take him/her to classes and lessons? Who will pay for it? Do both parents need to plan time for the child to practice or participate?
  • What are the child's educational needs? Does he or she need help with homework? Tutoring? Special programs? Who will pay for that? Who will handle transportation?
  • Does your child have any special medical needs? Who will take him/her to therapy or treatment? Who will attend meetings with the doctor? How will decisions be made about treatment?
  • If you and your child's other parent experience a conflict over some aspect of parenting time, how will that conflict be resolved? What resources will you access to help you resolve it?

There are many other issues that could be included in a parenting plan. Some will be unique to your child and your family. Keep a running list.

Cranston child custody attorney protecting your parental rights

While problems can always occur, with thorough advance planning, it is much less likely to occur. And if problems do occur after a parenting plan has been approved, you can use that plan to bring the other parent back to court at a later time.

talk with an experienced Coventry child custody lawyer. Call Kerry I. Rafanelli, attorney at law, at 401-398-8388 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.