Seriously thinking about having children via co-parenting?
Well, one of the first steps we recommend to take is to draw up a co-parenting agreement.
In our last post "What is a co-parenting agreement?" we talked at length about what it is and why it is important. Today, we go a step further and tell you point-by-point what your co-parenting plan should include.
As a general rule, we recommend that it should be taken to the utmost detail and include at least all of these subjects:
What should be included in a co-parenting plan?
The type of agreement
First of all, the co-parents must decide on the type of arrangement. Is it a sperm donation or a co-parenting project with shared responsibilities? What degree of responsibility does each party assume? Will it be 50/50 joint custody or will one party assume the role of primary caregiver?
This should be defined to the letter and as specifically as possible from the outset.
Method of reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth
Before starting, the parties also have to agree on everything related to the method of achieving pregnancy and childbirth. For example: what method of reproduction will be used to achieve the pregnancy? Will it be done in an assisted insemination clinic or will it be a home insemination?
The parties involved will also have to decide on important issues such as: the mother's diet during pregnancy, the type of birth, the clinic where the birth will take place, etc.
The primary caregiver
This section will detail everything related to the child's usual living arrangements, the time spent with each party and all issues regarding the main residence, visits by the other parent and visits to third parties such as grandparents and aunts and uncles.
Some questions to raise:
- Who will be the primary caregiver and where will the child live?
- How much time will the child spend with each co-parent?
- Will the child live only in the primary caregiver's home while the child is an infant or will the child travel between the two homes from the beginning?
- What happens if a co-parent moves to another city?
How will expenses be managed between the different co-parents and will they be divided equally? How can you keep track of each other's expenses?
Financial issues are often the most contentious, so this should be made as clear as possible from the beginning.
The child's education
Which nursery school will the child attend? Will it be public or private education? What type of school? Who will pay for the expenses related to the child's education? What extracurricular activities will the child attend?
Some questions can be left open and decided at a later stage, but in general there should be consensus on the most important issues.
Issues related to health and well-being
Will the child attend public or private health care facilities? Who will pay for the costs? Who will be responsible for the child in case of an emergency?
Will the child be brought up in any particular religious faith? Will there be religious ceremonies such as baptism, communion, etc.? Who will pay for the costs?
Holidays and special dates
With whom will the child spend the holidays? Will it be possible for the co-parents to take a trip together so that the child can enjoy the company of both? With whom will the child spend his or her birthday? What about the Christmas holidays?
A good strategy might be for one co-parent to celebrate with the child on even years and the other on odd years.
What will the level of communication be between the co-parents (daily, weekly, etc.)? How will the child communicate with the non-resident parent? Will the child be allowed to use Whatsapp?
As mentioned above, this is only an example and each family will have to make an agreement according to their specific needs.
In order to carry out this procedure, we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer who is an expert in family law.
What other things would you include in your co-parenting agreement?