When parents separate, there are a host of issues which need to be addressed:
Here are 10 things you will need to consider:
How will you approach arrangements? Are both parents on the same page and do you have an agreed plan of how it will all work?
Day to day arrangements: Where will the children live? How much time will each parent have with the children? What other childcare arrangements are required?
Introducing a new partner: How and when will this be done?
Moving House: How will this be approached? How will it affect the other parent’s time with the children?
Medical treatment: What arrangements will be made if the children need medical treatment?
Holidays: Consideration for arrangements for the school holidays. How will the holidays be split between the parents? When will each parent take the children away on holiday?
School: Make sure both parents are kept informed of all school information. The school needs to be advised that letters need to be sent out to each parent. Who attends school events?
Religion or culture: What events are important to you? How will the other parent uphold this?
Health: Who is responsible for health issues and appointments?
Money: Who pays what for the children?
Not all of the above will need to be agreed in one go but its important to be aware of what issues may come up for discussion further down the line.
In Alabama, I would include these issues as well:
- Who will have physical custody of the children? Who will have legal custody? Is a joint physical arrangement or joint legal designation workable?
- How will you divide Christmas holidays? Thanksgiving? Spring Break? What about the summer months?
- Where will you exchange the children at swap time? Is a public place necessary?
- Is there a mid-point equally convenient? Who is responsible for transportation on each visit to and from the meeting point?
- How will birthdays be handled? Does each parent have a period of time to see the child?
- Will either party have the right to call, text, skype, or webcam? What time? How long?
- What about out-of-state travel?