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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:34 PM
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Default Parenting plan - Holidays questions

Hi, I'm working on a parenting plan and I broke down my proposal for Christmas holidays as such:


The Christmas holiday period will be divided into two parts: Week 1, and Week 2.

Week 1 will be the first part of the holiday, and will include Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Week 1 will be with the father in even numbered years and with the mother in odd numbered years.
Week 2 is the second part of the holiday, and will include Boxing Day from 9 am, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Week 2 will be with the mother in even numbered years and with the father in odd numbered years.


I am not really fussy about other holidays, I would prefer slightly actually breaking long weekends into two, like a Fri-Sat and Sun-Mon split but I'm totally open to her suggestion. I've worded it so:

"I am open to .....’s input for Thanksgiving, Easter, May 24 weekends either broken into half with both parents or alternating yearly, or any other proposal."

Last March break the children were with me as she went away for about nine days, so I gave her 2013's March Break. Once again, I have no strong feelings either way, preferring slightly a splitting of time between both parents.

Questions:

Is this a bad idea to not be so specific in my plan?
How should I word it to be flexible based on other parent's input?
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:29 PM
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Be specific or you may very well regret it down the road. Just put in the condition with each clause. "Subject to change on the mutual written consent of both parties"

Plans change, I get that. I live that. My ex and I run fairly smooth in making mutally agreed upon changes but once in a while when he is trying to push something I don't want or can't give him down my throat. I pull out the agreement and the argument ends. I thank god I have it when originally I too was, "heh, lets not get bogged down with the details" when we wrote up the parenting plan.

You may not always be amicable. Trust me.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:35 PM
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^this!

I have to write a parenting plan as well, i'd like a copy
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:51 PM
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I'll post it here and let people pick through it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:53 PM
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Default Part 1 - Parenting Plan Sample

Parenting plan template found here: Ontario Divorce and Family Law Highlighted in bold are the sections I feel still need work.



Parenting Plan

BETWEEN

..................... (MOTHER)

AND

..................... (FATHER)


We, ............... and ............., the parents of

................... (date of birth),
................... (date of birth), and
................... (date of birth),

make this Parenting Plan to help us meet our mutual responsibilities as parents and to further the welfare of our children. We are choosing to lessen the impact of our separation on our children by working together in a cooperative manner in our roles as parents.

BASIC PRINCIPLES

We acknowledge that this Plan cannot reflect all future needs of our children or ourselves. We are therefore committed to the spirit reflected in this Parenting Plan and are open to being flexible and willing to discuss and resolve parenting issues as they arise.

We acknowledge that we have a mutually shared interest and responsibility, including shared decision making, for our children's upbringing. We believe that it is in the best interests of our children for both parents to be actively involved in their lives on a regular basis.

GUIDELINES FOR CO-PARENTING

We will try always to stay calm and child-focused when we discuss issues related to our children.

We will speak directly with each other regarding parenting matters, and will not put our children in the middle to carry messages nor any third party.

We will make every effort not to argue in the presence of the children.

We will not speak critically about each other or about each other's parenting in front of our children. We will ask our family and friends to do this as well.

We will keep adult matters such as legal and financial issues firmly between us and away from our children.

We will respect the other parent's right to privacy regarding his/her personal life.

We will encourage our children to have the best relationship possible with the other parent, and will not ask them to choose between us.

We will give each other the benefit of the doubt.

REGULAR PARENTING SCHEDULE

We agree to a 50/50 parenting schedule on a rotating week basis, typically Friday to Friday. The children will spend one week (seven days) in the care of one parent, and the following week in the care of the other parent.

Transitions between the two homes will take place Friday after school, as much as possible, be it by bus, on foot or other means.

To simplify the transitions between the homes, we want to minimize the belongings going between the homes. While the children will be free to take special belongings from one home to another, we will encourage them to have special belongings at both homes. They will have clothes and other necessities at both homes. Some belongings will have to travel between homes such as sports equipment; these can travel with the kids on the Friday at school or be picked up by parent whose weekend it is.

Pick-up or drop-off on non-school days is 9 am. For example, pick-up/drop-off on a PD day would be 9 am.

We will both support a healthy diet and exercise for our children.

The children are free to phone or text the non-residential parent any time (prior to bedtime). That parent may call the children once during the week. Texting to children should be kept to a minimum when with the other parent, with most communication being through the home/cell phone of the other parent.

PARENTING SCHEDULE HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Changes to the schedule may be made with the agreement of both parents.

It is expected that if one parent has out of town or work commitments over 48 hours that the other parent will be informed and the children would then stay with the other parent while gone.

Advance notification by at least two weeks of any extended absences for work commitments will allow to exchange access times. There will be no exchange of access times for periods of absence less than 48 hours.

The Christmas holiday period will be divided into two parts: Week 1, and Week 2.

Week 1 will be the first part of the holiday, and will include Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Week 1 will be with the father in even numbered years and with the mother in odd numbered years.
Week 2 is the second part of the holiday, and will include Boxing Day from 9 am, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Week 2 will be with the mother in even numbered years and with the father in odd numbered years.

I am open to ....... input for Thanksgiving, Easter, May 24 weekends either broken into half with both parents or alternating yearly, or any other proposal.

In the school year 2012 - 2013, the following will apply:

Thanksgiving Weekend:

The children will be in the care of their father for two days (Friday – Saturday) and the mother for two days (Sunday-Monday) of long weekend, alternating every year.

Christmas:

The Christmas holiday period will be divided into two parts: Week 1, and Week 2. Week 1 will be the first part of the holiday, and will include Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Week 1 will be with the father. Week 2 is the second part of the holiday, and will include Boxing Day from 9 am, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Week 2 will be with the mother.


March School Break:

The March school break in 2013 runs from 11 – 15 March, and will be with the mother since they were with the father in 2012.

Easter:

Easter is defined as the period from after school on the Thursday before Easter until the following Monday at 5:00 p.m. The children will be in the care of their father for the Easter weekend.

May Long Weekend:



Summer:

The summer school holiday will have the children sharing time equally with both parents on the rotating Friday to Thursday schedule, exception being the two consecutive weeks in July and August with both parents. Transition time will be at 9 am, unless the parents mutually agree on another time.

5. The remainder of the summer holiday period will be shared equally so that the children spend alternate weeks in the care of each parent. If there is an extra week, it will be divided so that the children spend half the week with each parent.

We will submit our summer holiday schedule preferences by April 30 of each year. The father will submit his summer holiday choice based on his work schedule. If he is allowed flexibility in planning his summer holidays by his workplace, he will accommodate the mother’s summer choice as much as possible

Labour Day

Labour day and the subsequent school start was with the mother in September 2012 and for 2013 it will be with the father, alternating every year.

Hallowe'en

Regardless of the schedule, arrangements will be made for the children to see both parents on Hallowe'en.

Children's Birthdays:

Children will be with the parent based on the rotating weekly schedule or choice of summer holidays. The non-residential parent is free to call the child on her or his birthday.

Parents' Birthdays:

The children will be with the parent whose birthday it is, from after school to the next day after school if falling on school days; if on a non-school day, children will be with parent whose birthday it is, from 9 am on the birthday till 9 am the next day.

Mother's Day/Father's Day

If the children are not regularly scheduled to be in the care of the parent being recognized, then the children may spend from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. the next day in the care of that parent. The regular schedule will then resume.

RIGHT OF FIRST OPPORTUNITY

If either parent ends up having an extended absence for work commitments or other reasons, then giving plenty of advance notice will help ensure exchange access times. Advance notification by at least two weeks of any extended absences will allow to exchange access times. There will be no exchange of access times for periods of absence less than 48 hours.

If the residential parent will be away for a period of time of two overnights, then the other parent will be first asked if she or he is available to care for the children. If he or she in available, then the children will be cared for by that parent. There will be no expectation by that parent needing the child care to make up for the period of time that he or she is absent.

Any other time a parent requires child care, it will be at his or her discretion regarding our children's upbringing.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:54 PM
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Default Part 2 - Parenting Plan Sample

MAJOR DECISION-MAKING

We agree that we will both be involved in all major decisions regarding our children's upbringing.

Major decisions include issues concerning our children's education, health, religion, extracurricular activities, and their general welfare. The father shall have the last say over matters of concerning our children's education, religion, extracurricular activities, and their general welfare. The mother shall have the last say over health care.

In the event of any disagreement between us regarding a major decision pertaining to either or both of our children, we agree to follow the dispute resolution process outlined below.


MINOR DECISION-MAKING

Minor day-to-day parenting decisions are made by each parent independently during their own parenting time as long as such decisions do not impact on the other parent's time with the children. When minor decisions do impact on the other parent's time with our children, then that parent will participate jointly in the decision-making.

REGULAR HEALTH/DENTAL CARE (including emotional, psychological, and physical)

The parent booking an appointment will inform the other parent in a timely manner. The parent who is caring for the children during the week that the appointment falls is responsible for taking the child/ren. She or he will inform the other parent of the results. Both parents are also welcome to attend.

Each parent is free to individually access the health care professionals treating the children.

The children's health cards and immunization records will travel with the children between the two homes.

EMERGENCIES

Each parent will be responsible for providing emergency medical and dental care during their own parenting time. Each parent is to notify the other parent as soon as reasonably possible of any illness requiring medical attention, or any emergency involving our children.

The parents agree to leave with each other instructions on how they can be reached in case of emergency.

In urgent situations regarding our children at school, we will do the following:

a. If the non-residential parent (of the week) is contacted by the school regarding the need for one or both of our children to be picked up at school for any reason (for example, illness or a snowstorm), then that parent will try to contact the residential parent.

b. If the residential parent is contacted, then it is his or her responsibility to pick up the child at school and to care for the child.

c. However, if the residential parent cannot be contacted, then the non-residential parent will pick up the child at school, care for the child, and leave a message for the residential parent regarding the situation. Once the residential parent becomes aware of the situation, it is his or her responsibility to care for the child.

d. If the child is ill and is at the home of the non-residential parent's, then the residential parent, with input from the non-residential parent, will make the decision regarding whether to have the child return to her or his home that day.

SCHOOL EVENTS/EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES/MEETINGS

We consider it to be important to our children that we both are frequently present at their school events, extracurricular activities, and any meetings pertaining to either or both of our children, regardless of their regular schedule.

When one of our children is participating in an activity (for example, a soccer game), the residential parent that week will take the child to the activity, and, by mutual agreement, the other parent may have the option to spend one on one time with the non-participating child. The parents will make such arrangements together prior to talking with the children.

If the residential parent is unable to take the child to an extracurricular activity, then that parent will first ask the other parent if he or she is available to do so. If that parent is unable to do so, then the parent initiating the request is responsible for making appropriate arrangements.

PARENTS' COMMUNICATION ABOUT OUR CHILDREN

We will correspond in a respectful manner that addresses child-related issues only. The parent who is invited to respond will do so in a timely manner (even if the parent is simply responding saying she or he is unable to respond within the suggested timeline, and will get back to the other parent by a specific date.)

We will communicate by electronic mail. Text messages may be used between parents to indicate there is an email in need of response. Text messages can also be used for last minute details if no internet is available.

An online calendar such as Google Calendar will be used to mark important dates and appointments. A calendar is attached with this proposal for the remainder of 2012 and the years 2013 – 2014. There are several co-parenting online resources for communicating and keeping track of dates and appointments. Attached is a list of such resources from Peace Talks Mediation Services.

Information sent home with the children from school and other activities will be shared between the parents in a timely manner.


TRAVEL WITH THE CHILDREN

The parent planning to travel with the children overnight outside a 100 km limit from Arnprior will let the other parent know of the plans as soon as possible, minimum three weeks unless both parents in written agreement. The travelling parent will request any documentation required, including a letter of permission. Requests to travel with the children will not be unreasonably withheld.

PASSPORTS

Passports of the children will be in possession of the mother in even years and the father in odd years. If a parent wants to travel with a child with no passport, then they will initiate the process to obtain a passport for the child. Costs will be the responsibility of the travelling parent.

CHILDREN'S DOCUMENTS

The children's passports, birth certificates, and social insurance cards will be kept in a safety deposit box . Both parents will have keys to the safety deposit box. We will inform the other parent when we will be accessing the documents.

The documents will be promptly returned to the safety deposit box following each use, and the other parent will be notified that they have been returned.

RELOCATION

We both agree that it is very important to our children that they have easy and uninterrupted access to both parents through until their completion of high school.

However, in the event of unforseen circumstances which involve a relocation of either parent, we agree that we will discuss together, or attend mediation if either believes that would be helpful, to make any necessary changes to the Parenting Plan which are in the best interests if the children. The parent who is relocating will discuss the relocation at least 90 days in advance with the other parent.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS

We agree that if a dispute occurs about any of the terms of this Parenting Plan, or any other issue regarding the children, we will first make a reasonable attempt to resolve the dispute between ourselves, including seeking any professional consultation which may be appropriate.

In the event that we are unable to reach a consensus, after having made a reasonable attempt to resolve the issue(s), we will attend mediation within fifteen (15) days from the time that the parent initiating the mediation has informed the other parent in writing of this intent. (We realize that the timeline of 15 days may be minimally extended to accommodate the mediator's schedule.) The parents will share equally the cost of mediation.

However, should a decision be required on an urgent basis, then either parent may proceed with an application to a Court of competent jurisdiction to determine the matter in issue.

INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE

We each acknowledge that we have been advised to seek independent legal advice prior to signing this Parenting Plan; that we have read the Parenting Plan and understand our respective rights and responsibilities outlined herein; and that we are signing this Parenting Plan voluntarily.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:41 PM
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For xmas, I strongly suggest looking at how your dates work out for the next 10-15 years. I think you may find that a boxing day handover really messes up the idea of week1-week2, because boxing day will always fall within the first week or so. ... which means Week 1 will vary from 3 days to 10 days (or thereabouts), depending on the year, and week 2 varies between 6 and 13 days. Personally I'd rather split the # days in half each year, which means xmas always in 1st half, new years eve always in second half.

Also, define WHEN the xmas period is i.e. from last day of school before xmas, to first day of school in the new year.

Same with march break ... does it include both weekends?
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkyface View Post
For xmas, I strongly suggest looking at how your dates work out for the next 10-15 years. I think you may find that a boxing day handover really messes up the idea of week1-week2, because boxing day will always fall within the first week or so. ... which means Week 1 will vary from 3 days to 10 days (or thereabouts), depending on the year, and week 2 varies between 6 and 13 days. Personally I'd rather split the # days in half each year, which means xmas always in 1st half, new years eve always in second half.

Also, define WHEN the xmas period is i.e. from last day of school before xmas, to first day of school in the new year.

Same with march break ... does it include both weekends?

I did the calendar math a bit more carefully: Week 1 ends up lasting 2-8 days (e.g. if boxing day is on Monday, then one parent would only have 2 full days and 3 overnights), while week 2 lasts 8-14 days. It does even up over the long haul, but REALLY sucks on the years you only have 2 or 3 days.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:34 AM
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Default Attached schedule

I might as well post my proposed schedule here too, to demonstrate how this would work dinkyface. I don't really count the days from the end of school onward.


Blue = mother, Green = father

Summers are open as explained before as we chose 2 x two week holiday periods for the months of July and August.

Files are pdf and zipped so they can fit here (wow, the upload size restrictions are really tight here).
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:42 PM
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Moderators, could you please put this in the Divorce & Family Law section, I just realized my mistake.
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