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Elements to Consider in a Parenting Plan: School, Medical and Change Overs

The following discussion occurred in another thread on this forum.

It mentions some of the elements to consider when considering and drafting a parenting plan - preschool and school enrolment, access, participation and reporting and medical issues - and includes discussion on some of the practical considerations when 'living with' / dealing with a difficult ex-wife.

With school matters consider getting agreement/orders to ensure that you are acknowledged as a parent with an interest/say at school and schooling, that you are listed on the emergency contact list, that you are provided with school notices, that you are invited to school events, that you are invited to parent-teacher conferences and any other meetings about your child's education and performance, that you are provided with reports, that you not be excluded from the school grounds (because of the separation), etc.

Once a child is of school age try and program swap overs to occur at and after school; that way you won't have to see the other parent.  This assumes that the school has after-school care (and perhaps before-school care for morning dropoffs).

With medical matters, ask that you be consulted and informed about any and all non-minor and urgent events, that you not be excluded from physicians' surgeries, medical centres, hospitals and other medical-related centres (because of the separation), that you be informed of appointments, that appointments not be made in your time with the children unless and withour prior agreement and approval by you (this can be done by three-way phone call with the medical receptionist), etc.

You might also consider setting minimum standards of clothing and cleanliness before change over (so that you don't receive a dirty child without adequate clothing).

All this assumes that you too will be sensible, and set aside your own feelings about the other parent, and focus on the child, and do the right thing to make the shared parenting work.

From: Mistake with our orders
Miacat Posted 28 December 2007, 11:24 AM #3780

Christmas was interesting, The Ex has suddenly realised she would only have three hours on Christmas morning with the boy. She asked us for an extra hour, and we let her have it, provided it was made up on new years day (when we are due to have the boy next). So that was ok. Only problem is she keeps giving us the boy unwashed, smelly, and in a dirty nappy. Luckily we normally go to my dad's house first anyway, so we are able to bath and change him, but it's getting beyond a joke now.

The ex has decided, without us saying anything, that she wants to change the orders. My partner said to her they can work out a date to talk about it all soon. She has not said what she wants changed, but i am hoping she wants us to have more time.

So now I am going to have to kick up my research a notch. Wasn't expecting her to agree to sit down and talk about the orders so soon.

Am going to wait for the new year, have a few days break first, then set about drafting new orders, without error, and ones that cover a lot more, so we hopefully wont have this problem again.

Artemis Posted 28 December, 2007, 11:24 AM

Hi Miacat,

Things to consider: include things about preschool enrolment and school and medical issues. These are all things that are hard to get after the fact.

With the dirty nappy, I know it's hard, but let it go. Make sure you have extra nice and clean clothes and tonnes of baby wipes. The ex could be doing this as a resentment thing. Her cleanliness standards could be less than yours. Keep a diary and if this becomes neglect, report it.

I have had hand over of my boy without a bottle (when he was still falling to sleep with one). Appalling I know, but it was sabotage. We have been told the child MUST wear night nappies (when he didn't) and handed over in daggy clothes. And with no bag, no comfort toy, no spare clothes, nothing. In another effort to make life difficult.

This is what some exes do. It only makes life hard for the child. It's not a game you can win by playing at it.

Fortunately, it causes us little problem because the boy is so happy to be with his Dad, he doesn't care or let much get in his way to be with Dad.

Miacat Posted 28 December, 2007, 05:01 PM #3787

It's sad to hear about the games these ex's play.

We have everything the boy needs with us. Ex just gives him to us as is with the clothes that he is wearing. We always have the boy bag packed ready to go with at least two clean sets of clothes (from singlets, socks, pants, shirts, and even shoes), nappy's, wipes, and even food. Most times the boy hasn't even got shoes or socks on when we pick him up. We normally change him at the first place we stop once we pick him up, normally my Dad's house. We even had to buy our own formula and bottles.

The boy has heaps of toys here, and loves coming over. Even more since Christmas. He got a proper pair of sandals (that we had fitted the other day) for Christmas from his 'nanna' (my mother-in-law).

It's hard to watch all this; I feel so sorry for this kid. Apparently she called my partner today and said the boy keeps misbehaving, more so after he has been with us, and even more after he has been with us for an overnight. Thing is, he is never naughty for us, he really listens to his Dad, and only needs to be told something once. I wonder if the boy is starting to notice the differences between both houses.

Access To School and Medical Records

From the USA, but worth a look if you are considering ideas and wordings for a parenting plan or children's orders regarding access to school and medical records.

Access To School and Medical Records

State Statutes - ALABAMA Through KENTUCKY
Section 30-3-154
Availability of records to both parents.
Unless otherwise prohibited by court order or statute, all records and information pertaining to the child, including, but not limited to, medical, physiological, dental, scholastic, athletic, extracurricular, and law enforcement, shall be equally available to both parents, in all types of custody arrangements.

Sec. 25.20.130. Access to records of the child. A parent who is not granted custody under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130 has the same access to the medical, dental, school, and other records of the child as the custodial parent.
State Statutes - LOUISIANA Through NORTH DAKOTA

State Statutes - OHIO Through WYOMING and WASHINGTON DC
A word of caution about American material - a great deal of it is not relevant to Australia, even more so when you consider that America does not have a Federal Family Law system but a fractured State by State system.

Parenting Plans in Australia are not legally enforceable whereas Consent Orders are.

Members of SRL-R can submit their orders for review and comment.

One fine day in the future the 'Orders Generator' will be on this site and it will contain variations of the most common orders.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
In my research, it appeared that Canada was doing better with it's dealings of parents in dispute and child matters. It's systems would also be more consistent with ours (commonwealth based).

Of course, American's general craziness is always good for a laugh.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Re-doing Childrens Orders

Ah your talking about my post.

I get a second chance at making the orders right this time. The other side wants the orders changed. I am now in the process of preparing new draft orders for consideration by the other side.

I have learnt a lot since I did the orders back in July last year. I have a better understanding of what the orders need to cover now.  This is made easier by the fact that the orders have been in effect for the past six months, and things have come up that are either not in the orders, or were too vague.

Not everyone gets the chance to re-do their orders like this (or even get consent orders in the first place), so I know we are very lucky.

It's still hard to know what to put in so that everything for the next 16 odd years will be covered.

Once I have the draft prepared I will post it in the SRL members section for reviews and comments, maybe it can even help others with what to put in their orders (individuals would need to modified it to their own needs).

Make provision for future changes

Miacat said
It's still hard to know what to put in so that everything for the next 16 odd years will be covered.
Then use this or a modification of it to cover any future Rice and Asplund argument, but remember both parents can use it.


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Disputes over Medical and School Records

AND just in case there might be disputes over medical and school records:


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Wow, thanks agog, those are a great help.
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