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Equal Parenting — Part 2

August 12, 2020  | 

{3 minutes to read} Now that you have decided on the access schedule you will use in your equal parenting plan, there are some other terms that you might want to include in your agreement.

Tweaks to the On-Duty Parent Responsibilities

Typically, the on-duty parent is responsible for everything having to do with the children during their access time. But, you may want to modify that in some circumstances: 

  • If you have children with different extracurricular activities in different places on the weekends, you may want to share those responsibilities no matter who the on-duty parent is. 
  • If one of you is more observant of the children’s religion, that parent may want to be responsible for taking them to services or religious education. 
  • If a child is sick or school/camp is cancelled unexpectedly, you may want to provide that if the on-duty parent cannot be with the child, they give the other parent the right to be with the child before arranging for child care. Or, you can provide that if neither of you can be with the child, arranging for child care is a joint responsibility and not just one for the “on-duty” parent.
Transition Days 
 
You will want to have a clear indication as to when the other parent’s responsibility commences when it is a transition day. 
 
For example, if you exchange the children on a Wednesday with the on-duty parent dropping them off at school/camp and the other commencing their access when they pick the children up from school/camp, who is responsible: 
 
  • If a child wakes up in the morning and is ill and can’t go to school/camp or school/camp is canceled? 
  • If a child becomes ill or school/camp is let out during the day?  

You may decide that

  • The parent who takes them to school/camp remains on-duty until the other picks up the children.  
  • The parent who picks up the children that day is on-duty as soon as the children are dropped off. 
  • You choose an arbitrary time for transition, such as noon.

It doesn’t matter what you choose so long as your agreement is clear about it. The last thing you want is an argument as to who is responsible if there is an urgent situation.

What if there is no school/camp on a transition day?

You may decide to adhere to the school/camp schedule in terms of transition time. Or, you could provide alternate hours for transitions. Again, as long as it is clear, you may agree on whatever you both think works best.

Taking the time to consider these points in mediation will be well worth the time spent, if it can help you to avoid future conflicts in implementing your plan.  

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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