No two families will remain the same as time goes by. As a single parent, who is sharing your parental responsibilities with the mother or father of your child, you will change, your child will change and the other parent will change.
As such, your parenting agreement will also need to change as your child grows older and as other life events take place. Here are a few provisions to include in your parenting plan to establish how those changes will be made:
- The parents will meet to determine if this parenting plan requires revisions at specific times during the year. This meeting will happen twice a year.
- The needs of the parents and the child may change over time. In these cases, the parenting plan may be revised to reflect these changes. Any changes to the parenting plan must be made in writing, signed and dated by both parents and each parent must have their own copy of the revised plan.
- If the parents disagree about needed changes to the child custody plan, they agree to seek professional assistance from a certified mediator to resolve the disagreement.
- When either parent wants to change the parenting plan, he or she will notify the other parent of the request in writing. The other parent will then have 14 days in which to agree to the request.
At the end of the day, your parenting plan needs to be strict enough to provide clear guidelines, but malleable enough to grow with your family and child. By including the above provisions in your parenting plan, and any others that you deem appropriate, you and the other parent of your child will have some useful rules of procedure in place with enough flexibility to meet your family’s changing needs over time.