9.7Susan M. Hais

Figuring out what life will look life after a divorce is especially important when a couple has a child or children. Parenting plans are intended to make transitioning from one household to two easier and can help parents prepare for the future. Whether included in a parenting plan or not, here are some things parents need to think about when dissolving a marriage.


Parents who can compromise and communicate effectively don’t always have very detailed parenting plans, but even sparse plans will address custody and visitation. This involves figuring out matters of legal and physical custody and visitation rights. If you share custody, then scheduling should be listed. This includes who gets the children at what times, who takes the children to different appointments and how to handle transferring the kids between homes.

Tip: Try to drop kids off as this is thought to be more palatable then picking them up.

Rules and Discipline

Kids need to know what to expect in terms of boundaries, and the rules at each home shouldn’t be wildly different as consistency is very important when kids are growing up. To make things simple, keep rules the same as they were before a divorce if possible.


A few questions to consider include:

  • Are both parents going to attend parent-teacher conferences?
  • Is mom going to handle some homework subjects while dad tackles others?
  • What about extracurricular activities?


Things change, especially as the kids get older. Scheduling a time to meet and discuss co-parenting could be needed. This lets parents make changes to existing plans and bring up new topics.

When forming a parenting plan and figuring out other custody issues, contact one of our expert family law attorneys in the St Louis area.