Scheduling Conflicts, Talking w/ Children & Special Needs in Tennessee Parenting Plans
Scheduling Conflicts, Communication with Children and Special Needs in Tennessee Parenting Plans – Part 7
What happens when there are scheduling conflicts? If this issue is not dealt with in the plan, parents are going to have to be like Solomon and come up with a good compromise. If, for example, one of the children is unavailable during scheduled parenting time, perhaps make-up time is the way to go instead of sending only one child. In other families, sending only one child might work if the parents agree and if the child will be all right without his sibling. If the parents have conflicts, such as work schedules which don’t permit driving the children, the parents will have to work around that. No one can accurately prepare for every type of incident that will come up in the years after divorce. The best way to deal with these unexpected issues is to be flexible — schedule parenting time at a time that is not built into the plan, or arrange for another way for the children to see the other parent.
Phone calls to either parent should be permitted at reasonable hours for a reasonable amount of time. If the parents agree to daily communication, fine; if not, perhaps communication every other day or every few days should be permitted. Each parent must always know where to contact the children, and this duty to inform should be specified in the plan. That means giving the specific city, hotel or house address, telephone number, and possibly e-mail address. The children should be permitted to have undisturbed contact with the other parent by telephone. That means that the children are entitled to have private conversations with the other parent. Likewise, if one parent is planning to take the children on vacation, the other parent should be informed about the same details as described above. No parent should have to wonder where his children are.
If any of the children requires special care, the other parent must ensure that the child gets the attention that is needed, such as getting special medications, nebulizers, and correct use of orthodontic appliances. If you are the non-primary parent and have the children for a week, you are responsible that the children receive all their medications and other essential things for their special needs. It is no excuse that you didn’t know — each parent is responsible for giving complete, detailed information about the children’s conditions, medications, and special needs to the other parent. As the non-primary parent, you should ask the primary parent what special needs the children have, even if you already know, because medications or dosages may have changed.
While this seems like a lot to keep in mind, a detailed roadmap in your parenting plan, along with built-in flexibility, will go a long way towards keeping you out of mediation and court. Consult with your family attorney for the best approach in your situation. Only you know the reality of your situation, but your family lawyer can help you get the best parenting plan for the future.
Additional Parts of Tennessee Long-Distance Parenting Plans: A Roadmap for Relocation:
- Smart Travel Plans for Parents’ Long Distance Visitation
- Resolving Children’s Travel Issues Before They Become Problematic
- Figuring out How Much Parenting Time is Feasible for Your Family
- Make-Up Parenting Time and Flexibility
- Denial of Parenting Time and an “Override Option”
- Including Time of Day for Travel and What to do in the Event of a Delay
- Scheduling Conflicts, Communication with Children and Special Needs