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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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  #1  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:23 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default Parenting Plan- How specific should you be?

I'm in the process of drafting a final parenting plan- one geared at high conflict parents. I'll share the word template if anyone is interested on here.

But for now- my question to you all is how specific is your parenting plan?

The orders I see in court cases are HIGHLY specific- down to the times, etc etc, locations of exchanges, etc etc.

I know that specifics are going to be my friend in my situation...but I come up to things like Halloween, Easter, and Victoria day- the "lesser" holidays for lack of a better term, and wonder if I should include those? [although- I'll fight anyone who doesn't think Halloween>>>>].

Do you guys include all long weekends like Victoria day?

Do you make special provisions for parents' birthdays, etc?

I'm not talking about the standard splitting of summers and march break....although- if you have any insights on that it would be great. For example, how early in advance should the parents exchange the weeks they want? OR is it better to always have set timing- e.g. July with parent A, August with parent B in even years, and the reverse in odd years.

You would think more specific > less specific...but is that always the case?

Last edited by iona6656; 03-06-2019 at 02:25 PM. Reason: *edited to remove my overuse of the term 'etc'.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
You would think more specific > less specific...but is that always the case?
Yes, that is always the case. There are no exceptions. The agreement is going to be used at the worst of times in the future. The absolute-epic-uncompromising lows of the future.

When you guys are getting along, you can override the schedule. Sure, it might say 9am, but you both realize that 10am or 8am would be better this particular time, so you agree to change it.

When you guys are not getting along, there had better be an answer, because without an answer the fight will escalate rapidly. That is where the agreement comes in.

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I know that specifics are going to be my friend in my situation...but I come up to things like Halloween, Easter, and Victoria day- the "lesser" holidays for lack of a better term, and wonder if I should include those?
There are three options:

A) Let the holidays fall where they fall. Maybe you get lucky, maybe you do not.

B) Be ridiculously specific about the holidays, because that is exactly where the fights happen.

C) Have a fight every holiday.

If you do not do A or B, then you default to C.

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Do you guys include all long weekends like Victoria day?
Yes, every single one.

Quote:
Do you make special provisions for parents' birthdays, etc?
No, and that was deliberate. Half the time, I am not with the kids on their birthday. If my birthday is so special that we have to change things around, why is theirs not special? If we do change things around for their birthday (eg. split the day somehow) then every birthday becomes a stressful situation for the kid, and that's not fun.

I decided to create a culture of "approximation", in that we celebrate my birthday around my birthday, and we celebrate their birthday around their birthday. If we are not together during those events, I let them choose if they want to celebrate before or after.

I do make a provision for father's/mother's day because I didn't like the idea of the kids being with a stepparent on those days.

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For example, how early in advance should the parents exchange the weeks they want? OR is it better to always have set timing- e.g. July with parent A, August with parent B in even years, and the reverse in odd years.
Specific timing is always better. If your job does not allow specific timing, then my recommendation is that the choosing process be very algorithmic.

eg.

In Even Years, Parent A chooses two consecutive weeks during the summer for their vacation time with the kids. The time starts at 10am on the first day chosen, and ends at 10am the day after the last day chosen. This date must be chosen by March 30th in writing to the current agreed email address, which is iona@gmail.com until changed in writing.

After Parent A has chosen, Parent B will chose two weeks with the same restrictions, and the choice must be made by May 15th. The choice will be communicated in writing to the current agreed email address, which is jackass@gmail.com until changed in writing.

If either parent misses the deadline, they forfeit vacation time with the child for that year.

In odd years, Parent B chooses first, and Parent A chooses second.



...or, just decide now for all time. Remember, if you are getting along, it can always be changed later. If you are not getting along, you will appreciate the certainty. You can be sure that if you are not getting along, Parent A will wait until March 30th, and try to think of the two weeks that screw the most with Parent B.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:07 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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we have an 18 page parenting plan developed with one of the best social workers I know for Family law.

communication- OFW for regular, email or text for emergency reasons.
communication- maximum limit per week
communication- cordial, no overt or covert insults

day to day decision making- residential parents right on their days

major decision making
education decisions- school placement and boundaries (this is more so because we are in 50.50 )
health decisions- protocol to follow when emergency decisions need to be made on spot.. call other parent and if no response then go ahead and make the decision following doctors recommendations

appointments,alternate and share information

professional selection , protocol when one parent disagrees with a professional opinion

back to school shopping, seasonal wear shopping (more so because we are 50.50)

regular access

holiday access (every single holiday INCLUDING sick days, snow days, and PA days)

right of first refusal, if either parent needs regular consistent care, other parent gets the time. if more than 2 hours at anytime, other parent. extended family can care at any time.

access schedule change protocol

travel protocol

jurisdictional moves - neither parent can move beyond a certain distance

school events, both can attend but respectful of residents parents time

deadlines to choose which half of summer months and which certain holidays we get each year (could have been standard rotation per most holidays), example, we notify each other of holidays that require choosing by End of February.

health cards
passports

routine appointments

name changes (neither can change without consent)

homework and projects

no disparaging child in front of other parent

new partners

future dispute resolution mechanism

.. pretty much anything you can think of that your ex will try to create a massacre out of

..not everything is down to the minute, but most things are.. such as Christmas break and summary break exchanges will happen by noon .

such plans are best when developed by both of you, preferably with a mediator. half of the stuff in my parenting plan would never get ordered by a judge. best best to reach an agreement you can hold your ex accountable to.

if you're going to send a parenting plan that accuses him of being abusive and how you're going to micromanage his counselling sessions and it strips him of custody and dictates how his access will be expanded and to what extend (I.e. 32%), inter alias, then you can be sure it won't be agreed to or followed. I rejected close to a dozen parenting plans of similar nature over (abuse excluded) the last 4 years until finally getting 90% of everything I wanted, which was about 50% of everything mom wanted.. if that makes sense.

it's next to impossible to "get" dads to sign away custody and equal access. I was initially mainly persuaded by the many members of this site after they made me realize at least half of my rights I never realized I had. Dads have a lot more rights then you may sometimes like to think. And they're getting more knowledgeable about it day by day.

Last edited by tunnelight; 03-06-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2019, 06:25 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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one more very important thing I forgot.

extra circular activities.... neither parent can enrol child in activity over other parents time without their consent. very, very important.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2019, 06:29 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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Child Birthdays we alternate. We each get our Birthday every year
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2019, 09:47 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunnelight View Post
no disparaging child in front of other parent

new partners

future dispute resolution mechanism
What does it say about new partners?

And what was the reasoning behind including things that aren't really enforceable? e.g. no disparaging the other parent.

Also- if you don't mind me asking- what is your dispute resolution mechanism?
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:52 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
There are three options:

A) Let the holidays fall where they fall. Maybe you get lucky, maybe you do not.

B) Be ridiculously specific about the holidays, because that is exactly where the fights happen.

C) Have a fight every holiday.

If you do not do A or B, then you default to C.
Yeah- I like A as well. I'm hoping it creates less conflict.

Quote:
No, and that was deliberate. Half the time, I am not with the kids on their birthday. If my birthday is so special that we have to change things around, why is theirs not special? If we do change things around for their birthday (eg. split the day somehow) then every birthday becomes a stressful situation for the kid, and that's not fun.

I decided to create a culture of "approximation", in that we celebrate my birthday around my birthday, and we celebrate their birthday around their birthday. If we are not together during those events, I let them choose if they want to celebrate before or after.

I do make a provision for father's/mother's day because I didn't like the idea of the kids being with a stepparent on those days.
So much agreement with this. Minimization of extra exchanges is ideal for me. Esp. with my daughter being so young- she doesn't care what day it is.


Quote:
Specific timing is always better. If your job does not allow specific timing, then my recommendation is that the choosing process be very algorithmic.

eg.

In Even Years, Parent A chooses two consecutive weeks during the summer for their vacation time with the kids. The time starts at 10am on the first day chosen, and ends at 10am the day after the last day chosen. This date must be chosen by March 30th in writing to the current agreed email address, which is iona@gmail.com until changed in writing.

After Parent A has chosen, Parent B will chose two weeks with the same restrictions, and the choice must be made by May 15th. The choice will be communicated in writing to the current agreed email address, which is jackass@gmail.com until changed in writing.

If either parent misses the deadline, they forfeit vacation time with the child for that year.

In odd years, Parent B chooses first, and Parent A chooses second.
thank you. am going to suggest all of this.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2019, 10:26 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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While I would love to work with a parenting mediator- that's not going to happen. Arbitration may work with our situation. And I'm open to that...but we've tried mediation. We're trying co-parent counselling.

What I am open to is working with a parenting coordinator as a dispute resolution mechanism.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2019, 12:51 PM
first timer first timer is offline
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Our agreement had 2 provisions:
1. Father's day and Mother's Day: 6pm on the Saturday to 6pm on the Sunday
2. Summer: Even years Parent A had first choice for 2 consecutive weeks, deadline was May 31; Odd years Parent B had first choice, same deadline; if deadline was missed, the other parent got first choice. (not a fan of the forfeiting of vacation time if the deadline is missed). Time start and end was same as transfer days when kids were not in school 6pm.

Last edited by first timer; 03-07-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
What does it say about new partners?
I've never understood why any agreements would ever say anything about new partners. Not the least because any such clause (unless it is related to spousal support) is almost completely unenforceable. But also because those clauses are wrong, why is it anybody's business what I do or do not do with any future partners?

Quote:
And what was the reasoning behind including things that aren't really enforceable? e.g. no disparaging the other parent.
I agree. Our agreement has none of that nonsense. It is like making rules for your kids that you do not intend to enforce. I have very few rules with my kids, but I enforce every single last one of them. If I do not intend to enforce a rule, I do not make it a rule.

I feel agreements are the same, if you put in clauses that you do not intend to enforce, it weakens the agreement. My agreement has many clauses, and neither me or my ex would accept any unauthorized deviation from those clauses.

That said... I don't disparage her in front of my kids. Not because of the agreement, but because that would suck for the kids.

My friends are of course quite aware of my view that every breath she takes is further proof of the non-existence of God, or at least a God that metes out any sort of karmic justice.

Quote:
Also- if you don't mind me asking- what is your dispute resolution mechanism?
I know you were not asking me, but we don't have one, because there are almost no areas of possible dispute. Our dispute resolution mechanism is "go to court".
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