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What to include in a child care plan

Once you and your estranged spouse come to a custody agreement, you’ll have to write a custody plan. Never make assumptions during this time–even if it seems meaningless, make sure you get everything in writing. Otherwise, your former spouse might try to challenge you later on.

What do you and your former spouse need to agree on?

If your child isn’t old enough to go to school, you will need to figure out child care arrangements. You can’t send your child to just any day care–you’ll need to agree on the same place. If you hire a babysitter or plan to stay at home, mention this in your childcare agreement. You’ll also need to figure out the cost if your former spouse has to pay child support.

Otherwise, you’ll need to decide on a school for your child. Don’t assume that your child will go to the school in your district even if your former spouse agrees. Instead, include this information in your plan so your former spouse can’t challenge it later. Similarly, you’ll have to figure out who picks up your child and drops them off at school. This also includes driving the child to custody exchanges and other arrangements.

You’ll need to make medical arrangements ahead of time. This can be challenging because you can’t predict the future, but you could decide which insurance plan your child will be on. You could also decide who makes the medical decisions and what you’ll do if you can’t come to an agreement. If you have to pay out of pocket, you can write an agreement on how much each parent pays.

Do you have to write a parenting agreement?

The more you get in writing after your divorce, the better. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hold your former spouse accountable if they break the agreement or go against your wishes. This also prevents your former spouse from falsely claiming that you didn’t uphold your end of the bargain. Plus, a written plan simply makes it easier for you and your former spouse to remember what you agreed to.

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