Your Parenting Plan Needs to Reflect the Times
A well-conceived parenting plan is the foundation of a successful relationship between former partners and the sons and daughters they share. Hammering out the details regarding custody and visitation during separation or divorce might seem hard, but a strong framework can avert serious problems down the road. When done right, a parenting plan facilitates communication between co-parents, helping them avoid any conflicts that could adversely affect the well-being of their children.
While most plans address the day-to-day lives of the children at issue — where the kids will live, how their holidays will be spent and who will cover specific expenses — today’s plans may need to go a bit further to keep up with our rapidly-changing world. Areas to consider including in your new parenting plan or when revisiting established arrangements include:
- Electronic devices —Most school-age kids use smartphones, tablets, PCs, and other devices on a daily basis. While these devices are often necessary as communication and study tools, research shows that too much screen time can contribute to child obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, and impaired academic performance. It’s a good idea for both parents to come to a meeting of the minds regarding how much screen time their children should be allowed to have.
- Social media accounts — Today’s kids spend a lot of time interacting on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok, to name just a few. The dangers of social media are well documented. Children can be subject to cyberbullying, exposed to online predators, inundated with misleading marketing messages, and enticed to participate in dangerous viral trends. Parents need to be aware of these dangers and might wish to formalize parameters on their child’s online engagement.
- Vaccinations — Issues surrounding what vaccinations to give children have been hitting the headlines for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has led to sharp divisions on the efficacy and safety of various vaccines. It’s important that the parents agree on what vaccination standards they want to apply to their children and that these are set forth in the parenting agreement.
An experienced family law attorney will be able to guide you through all the traditional parenting plan issues as well any new matters that arise as the culture continues to shift.
The New York attorneys at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. in Melville help Long Island clients create parenting plans that meet their unique circumstance and are ready to advise you on how to help your children thrive despite divorce. To schedule your free initial consultation with a member of our team, call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.