Child custody agreements are based on the children’s needs. Because of this, parents tend to focus the agreement on the larger issues that come up. You have to take the time to think about some smaller points so that you don’t end up in a contentious battle with your ex over aspects that could have been discussed beforehand.
Once you have the bigger matters, such as the parenting time schedule, set, you can move onto these smaller items. Think about your child and what you feel strongly about so you know where to put your focus. Your ex might have some wishes as well, so be prepared to work out deals.
Children are often involved in extracurricular activities. Having a plan for how these are paid for and for transportation can be beneficial. Sometimes, a clause that states one parent can’t sign a child up for an activity if it will infringe on the other parent’s time is necessary. In practice, it is always a good idea to speak to the other parent before you sign the children up for any activities.
Personal grooming matters
You might not think that things like hair cuts matter now, but they can become a source of drama if they aren’t addressed. If you are concerned about what hairstyle a child has, try to have a provision in the parenting plan that requires both parents agree on a cut for the kids. Some parents include a blanket statement saying that neither one will dramatically alter the child’s appearance without permission from the other.
Discussions about the other parent
Belittling the other parent is never a good idea. Your child custody order can forbid deprecation because it can affect the child’s perception of their parents. As a divorced parent, you should encourage your children to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, as well as the extended family.
Many children have electronic devices like tablets and phones. These often go with the child between homes, so there should be a plan for how they will be handled. This might include basic care, such as keeping the devices in protective cases, and certain time limits. If the electronics have a passlock code, both parents should have it.
As you set these provisions, remember that modifying them in the future is possible. You and your ex can change them as your child matures and you see that they aren’t working any longer. This enables you to focus on what’s needed now instead of trying to guess about the future.