When you’re a divorced parent, you don’t want anything to interfere with your visitation time with your child. However, health issues have an unfortunate way of cropping up suddenly. It’s smart to plan ahead for these kinds of situations, so that you (and your children) won’t miss out just because somebody came down with the flu or had to have surgery.
Here are some of the issues you and your co-parent should consider as you craft your parenting plan:
What happens if you get sick when your child is with you?
When a couple is together, a sick parent can usually rely on their spouse to pick up the slack with the kids. When you’re on your own, you may need to reach out to others for help. Does your ex want to be asked to care for your child before you ask anyone else even though it isn’t “their time” for custody or visitation? Do you want to ask them first? Adding a clause about the “right of first refusal” can clarify what procedure will be followed.
What happens if you or your child gets sick right before your scheduled visitation?
It pays to explore alternative visitation schedules. Is your co-parent open to shifting days around to accommodate any illnesses? Should virtual visitation be an option instead? Virtual visitation can allow you to spend time with your child even when one of you feels under the weather — without having to negotiate a change in the schedule.
The goal of any parenting plan is to establish a framework that parents can use to guide their interactions from the time they split to the time their child is grown. It’s important to think ahead and anticipate as many different problems as you can. An attorney may be able to offer invaluable guidance during the process.