9.7Susan M. Hais

A detailed parenting plan is one of the most important documents you will ever create. A bad parenting plan can lead to excessive arguments between the parents and could wind up with the two of you being in court so many times that the court clerk knows you by first name. It is important that your parenting plan outlines any specific concerns or needs that relate to your family. For example, if your family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, it’s probably not important to include it in your parenting plan. Conversely, if education and religion are things that are important to you or issues that have been contentious in the past, you should ensure there is no ambiguity in your agreement.

While it may seem petty or unnecessary to spell out every single detail, it is better to be crystal clear on your terms rather than end up back in court because you each had a different interpretation of your agreement. Here are just a few things you should make sure your parenting plan addresses:


The holidays are a time when you want to enjoy being with your family. The last thing you want to be doing is arguing with your ex about when you have to drop off your child. Your parenting plan should be very clear on pickup and drop off times and locations and what year each parent get the child.

School In-service Days

These are the days off from school not associated with a major holiday. These usually include conference days and holidays like MLK day. Will these holidays act as an extension of the regular weekend or will the regularly scheduled plan stay in effect unaffected by non-school days?

Non-emergency Medical Care

If your ex and you have joint legal custody then both of you will be required to make all major decisions jointly. But what about the everyday events like a cold or a sprained ankle? Is there a specific doctor that the child will go to? Should you notify the other parent about every appointment? And what if you don’t have joint custody? What type of care can the non-custodial parent seek for the child?

It’s easy to overlook things. At Hais, Hais, and Goldberg, we understand this and want to help make sure you cover every detail possible. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.