Prioritize Organize & Simplify your thoughts using this comprehensive (but not all inclusive) parenting plan checklist. Brainstorm what is best for your children and how to co-parent in a way that helps your children adjust and thrive!
□ Communication: How is the communication going to occur (online tool, text, email etc.)? How will unexpected expenses be communicated? What is required to be communication and the frequency? How and when can a new significant other be introduced? How will you be able to touch base with the children when they are at the other parent’s home?
□ Parenting Schedule: How much time will be spent at each home? How will it impact the children (changing often vs. larger stretches at each home)? How will schedule changes be handled (temporary or permanent) and how will they be communicated/agreed upon? How will “drop off’s” work (who will drop off, where, what time etc.)?
□ Expenses: How will expenses be split? When will you reimburse one another (per occurrence, monthly etc.) and in what format? How will school events and trips be covered? How will unexpected expenses be decided upon and divided?
□ Emergencies & Decisions: How will emergencies be handled? How will major decisions be made and when is a joint decision required (emergencies, schooling, medical, usage of technology etc.)? How will changes be handled/agreed upon? How will matters be handled if you cannot agree or interpret the plan differently?
□ Vacations, Holidays, Occasions, Travel: How will the holidays be celebrated with the children (alternating, split each holiday etc.)? Will the parenting schedule be different over the summer to allow for getaways? How will school vacations, mother’s/father’s day, parents’ birthdays, religious & public holidays to celebrated? What permissions are needed for trips (out of state, out of the country etc.)?
□ Other Considerations: You also need to plan for interaction with extended family, religious affiliation and practice levels, visitations, schooling, special needs, relocation, extracurricular activities, post age 18 expenses and other such considerations.
Hirsch Serman, MBA, CPA is the founder of Lifecycle Financial, a company that helps those going through Divorce and other life cycle changes to navigate the financial pitfalls of a new life dynamic. The company was founded through personal experiences relating to divorce and watching the changes of an aging parent who suddenly lost her husband. Hirsch has worked in finance for over 20 years (including financial planning and tax) and has taught on the university level as well as conducted seminars for high school youth on personal finances. Hirsch is a member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM).
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INC., DivorcedMoms.com, DivorceMag.com, The Memphis Business Journal, The New Southern, and Funding Sage media outlets have all covered his work in Divorce and Hirsch was selected to be a New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Fellow. Hirsch has a passion to serve others and has worked with numerous non-profit boards including the United Way and is a Trustee on the Board of Texas College. Please reach out with any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.