When you make child custody decisions in a divorce, you will have to create a parenting plan. This is like the blueprint you will follow when it comes to the care of your children.
Having a solid parenting plan is essential to ensure you do not have miscommunications or misunderstandings that could lead to problems between you and the other parent. It sets expectations and aligns your goals so the children become the main focus of everything you do concerning them. But if you are not careful, your parenting plan may be lacking or include points that could lead to issues later.
In general, a parenting plan assumes that each parent has control over daily decisions for the children when the children are in their custody. However, this may not work for every family. If you and your spouse have very different parenting styles, you may need to include some specifics in the parenting plan. For example, you may want to add a bedtime or address when the children can stay home alone. You certainly can include such details if they will help make the situation easier for everyone.
You may also need to address what happens with items one parent buys the children. For example, will the kids keep clothing at each home and not mix the clothing? Or what happens if one parent buys the children a game system? Will it travel back and forth with the children or stay at one home? You may need to iron out what happens in these situations to avoid arguments down the road.
Parenting plans can be as detailed as you desire. If you and your spouse do not have a good relationship, it may be best to outline every single thing in the plan. This may be the only way to avoid problems.