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Consider changes when crafting a parenting plan

You and your spouse are splitting up, and you're working on a parenting plan for your children. It seems easy, in some ways. You just consider your schedules, the kids' schedules and what needs to be done to make everything work. You've been doing this as a couple, anyway, so now you just divide the duties.

One key thing to remember, though, is that life changes. Children graduate from middle school and go to high school. A child quits the football team and joins the drama club. You lose your job and then get a new one on the other side of town. Your kids grow up and become old enough that they can stay home alone, when you'd never do that today.

What are you going to do when a change comes along? Your parenting plan may need to address this, or it should at least give you enough flexibility that you can meet these changes with options already in mind.

Remember that there may also be small changes. You're supposed to have the children, but you're sick. Your spouse is supposed to pick them up, but he or she has to stay late at work. One child has an after-school activity that he or she forgot to tell you about.

It's wise to have a schedule in the parenting plan, but it also needs flexibility to adjust on the fly.

As you work on the parenting plan, always focus on your child's best interests. At the same time, be sure you know all of your rights as a parent.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "5 Rules To Make Managing Family Plans Easier," accessed June 28, 2017

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