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Iowa co-parents: Spring clean your parenting plan

If you share custody of your kids with another parent, you probably recognize that stress may simply be unavoidable in shared parenting arrangements. You probably also recognize the fact that the stressors you deal with change over time as your situation changes and as your child grows up. With this in mind, now might be a good time to revisit your parenting or custody plan to make sure it still meets your needs and your child's needs.

Think of it like spring cleaning your parenting plan. Parents and children benefit from periodic review and revision of a parenting plan, as it can help you get rid of outdated rules that are no longer relevant and allow you to put in place new, updated information. 

As you think about your existing plan, you can ask yourself some questions to help you figure out if it needs a little or a lot of work. 

  • Does the current custody schedule still make sense for me and for my child?
  • Do we need to set boundaries regarding which parent should/can attend a child's performances or games as he or she gets older and starts getting involved in more activities?
  • Have there been any changes to the holiday or vacation schedules?
  • Has either parent moved? Does the move affect custody exchanges?
  • Are there any needs my child has that aren't not being met consistently?

Based on how you answer these questions, you might discover that your parenting plan is out of date and needs revision. Whether you can work with the other parent of your child to make changes to a parenting plan or you need the courts to do it, it would be wise to consult an attorney before changing or agreeing to anything. Failure to do so could lead to allegations of custody violations and other costly mistakes.

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