It is always in the rush of things or in the pressure of negotiations that we forget some of the little things in parenting orders…which later can become the big things. It is worth turning your mind to the outcome you want with your parenting orders or plan before you even start negotiations. Consider how the parenting order or plan effects all aspects of your life with your child.
Here are some things you may like to turn your mind to:
International Travel – Will you want to travel longer than the usual time you have with your child? Is there provision for that in the Order? Are you happy for this to be reciprocal? How much notice would you give? How would you make up the time? How often? Would it be ok to travel during the school term? Are there places you do not want your child to go?
Communication – Do you want to be able to communicate with your child in different ways? Is your child old enough to have an email account or a phone you can message? Is Skype or FaceTime available? What about different apps?
Religious or Cultural considerations – Are there issues which are of significance to you, your family or cultural upbringing which you would like special consideration of in relation to specific occasions or times with the child.
Maintaining relationships with extended family – there may be times that this is relevant and worth a consideration if the separation has led to the child having restricted access to his or her extended family, especially if they were once significant in that child’s life.
Change – it is also worth considering how these parenting orders will look in two years time, or ten years time or more, especially if the child is very young. Consideration for flexibility as the child grows up or mediation before certain milestones may assist the parties in pre-empting any possible conflict for changes which need to take place and providing a solution based process to get ahead of this.
There are of course so many others and it is important that you have written down the issues that you believe are significant to the child’s best interest but also those things that preserve the culture and values of the families in which the child will be raised.
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