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Why You Should Consider Including a Contingency Plan in Your Parenting Arrangement


Even the most prepared parent could fail to plan for certain eventualities when drafting a parenting plan. Few parents, for instance, were prepared for a worldwide pandemic that would result in school closures and stay-at-home orders across the country. It is possible, however, to include contingency plans in parenting agreements that can help parents work through these difficult times, while still complying with a court order. For help drafting your own parenting plan, or to learn more about implementing a parenting time arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our experienced child visitation and time sharing legal team for help.

Reviewing School Calendars

We’ve all come to depend on school calendars, which in most cases is safe to do, as these schedules (with the exception of the occasional snow day) almost always remain unchanged. For this reason, many co-parents (in preparation for the school year) are careful to go over these calendars to ensure that their visitation schedule works as seamlessly as possible. Reviewing this calendar in advance can also help parents plan where their children will spend holidays and breaks. There are scenarios, however, when these calendars will not be reliable, in which case, parents will need to be flexible in how they respond to unplanned school closures.

Unplanned School Closures

The recent COVID-19 outbreak stands as a stark reminder to parents that they should consider making tentative plans for what will happen in the event of an unplanned school closure. This can be complicated enough when trying to determine where a couple’s children will go when local schools suddenly close for inclement weather and natural disasters, let alone when contending with a worldwide pandemic. For this reason, parents who are currently attempting to end their marriages should be careful to include contingency plans in their parenting agreements to account for these types of disasters and emergencies.

Flexible Parenting Plans

Many parents, in times like these, will need to adapt their parenting plans to determine:

  • Who will watch the children on certain days;
  • Whether any family members can help provide childcare;
  • How decision making responsibility will be shared in an emergency;
  • Whether the parties will attempt to obtain emergency childcare services, and if so, who will be responsible for paying for those services; and
  • Whether the parents want to implement a particular homeschooling schedule.

Having a plan that accounts for these factors can help take some of the stress off of parents in the event of an emergency. For those who don’t have a contingency plan in place, however, it is important to stay realistic if such an emergency does occur, as in some cases, it will be impossible to comply with a parenting plan arrangement. In these cases, both parents should stay in communication with each other and remain flexible in regards to shared parenting time.

An Experienced Fort Lauderdale Child Visitation and Time Sharing Lawyer

For help creating a child custody contingency plan or modifying a time sharing agreement, please contact dedicated Fort Lauderdale child visitation & timesharing attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at our office. We can be reached at 954-945-7591 or via online message.



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