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3 common parenting plan mistakes

Creating a parenting plan is a great way to collaborate with your ex and form an agreement for co-parenting that fits both of your lives. In addition to the benefit it provides to both parents, such an approach also benefits kids by providing much-needed stability in the wake of major life changes. This consistency is one of the greatest advantages a parenting plan offers, but only if you avoid mistakes.

There are three mistakes in particular that are surprisingly common and sure to be detrimental to the efficacy of your parenting plan. If you are currently in the midst of a divorce or collaborating with your ex on a parenting plan, be sure stay aware of and avoid the following three mistakes.

1. Vague phrasing and definitions

The most important error to avoid when drafting your parenting plan is that of vague definitions and phrasing. Too often, a plan will include concessions that one parent enjoy "frequent visitation" or "liberal one-on-one time each week." Phrases such as this are entirely subjective, though, as one parent's definition of "frequent" or "liberal" may differ from the other's.

2. No provisions for medical care

Many parenting plans also fail by focusing exclusively on custody and visitation. This is only one aspect of parenting, and failure to address medical care is a glaring oversight. Your parenting plan should include clear provisions outlining the information necessary for each parent to care for kids' medical needs. This includes details on health insurance, allergies and any special needs the children may have.

3. Unclear educational responsibilities

In addition to clear provisions for medical care, your parenting plan should outline the responsibilities of each parent in facilitating the kids' education. Who brings the children to school each day? Should you attend parent-teacher conferences together or treat them as a split responsibility? Hammer out details such as these when you are writing your parenting plan-not after.

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