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5 questions to ask when making a parenting plan

Feeling like making a parenting plan is overwhelming? Unsure where to start? Worried that you'll leave out something critical?

These feelings are very normal. To help you get started, here are five questions you need to ask.

What sports and activities can your child participate in?

For instance, one parent may fear serious injuries and not want a child to play football, while the other parent isn't as concerned.

What access will be granted to extended family members?

Can grandparents just drop in whenever they want or take the child on trips? What about step parents, aunts and uncles?

What family traditions are going to be honored?

For example, parents who are of different religions may need to talk about how the child will be raised.

What clear boundaries do you both want to set for the kids?

Even things like curfews and bedtimes are easier to enforce if you both show the kids you are still a united front.

When can updates be made?

Don't forget that kids change a lot as they grow up. The same parenting plan that works in 2017 may not work in 2027. Parents' lives also change, with new relationships, new jobs and much more.

Parenting when you're divorced has its challenges, but your parenting plan allows you to put the child's best interests first and create a plan that helps you both be effective parents, even when you're not married.

As you work through this process, make sure you fully understand your legal rights and all of the steps that have to be taken to make your child custody agreement official.

Source: Kids First, "Build a Parenting Plan For Success," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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