5 Things to Include In Your Parenting Plan
Parenting Plans Are for All of You
So parenting plans are very personal and will be different for most families but when you are co-parenting with a sex addict or porn addict there are 5 things that I believe are important to include. Some people will see these as overprotective and overbearing, but I see them as common sense. There are things that sex addicts do that wouldn’t even be a consideration in a normal parenting plan. But sex addicts and porn addicts are not really normal people in that they have areas that they do not have boundaries or understanding why something would be upsetting to others. This means we as the other parent need to protect our children from their inability to behave in normal ways. I am not a lawyer or any type of legal aide so you will need to discuss each with your lawyer but I have found, seen or been a part of legal proceedings that include each of these in one way or another.
There needs to be be a limit on who can watch your children. You can limit this in multiple ways but it is very important to cover the basics of who can watch the child/ren, what is appropriate during their time with either parent, and where they can be watched by people other than trusted adults. I find that including first right of refusal is not good enough by itself as it is hard to enforce this especially for children over Daycare age. I think it is a good thing to include but don’t think that will keep them in your care if they aren’t with the other parent. There needs to be a list of people you are both comfortable with watching the kids, with a list of people you are not comfortable with. For example things like traits of people allowed to care for the children in their parents absence, a need to have met both parents, a need to be involved for at least a certain amount of time, and no criminal record that would suggest that them having unsupervised time with children isn’t healthy. You can also include stipulations like they must not have lost their own children to CPS or not have any drug related incidents, as well as other things along those lines. Sadly when your child is with the other parent you will not have any control other than what is in the parenting plan so use it to its full potential. You will need to work this out with your lawyer.
There should be a limit on where the noncustodial parent can take the child. I included not leaving my state unless I gave written permission. I think this is important because there are ways to get out of giving the children back if they leave the state and go to court in the new state. This right here makes that impossible because they would be kidnapping if they leave the state you are in. That way if they do try to run you can immediately call the police and it will actually be looked in to, at least where I am, again you will need legal advice from a qualified person to know for sure. I included it as my ex tried to take our children and run. He would have made it if not for this one little line in the parenting plan. As soon as I informed him that if he took them across the state lines that I would call the police and they could go get them, he gave them back. He didn’t want kidnapping charges.
Make sure They can Contact you
I think including a clause that the child can always have contact with both parents and there is to be no interruption, listening in, recording, or interfering of any sort. I have seen the ex use seemingly innocent things against the non addict parent and actually win because it was taken completely out of context. There are also those people that will try to keep the kids from talking to the other parent just for spite or because they know they want to go home. This is inappropriate in so many ways. The only time a child should be kept from the other parent is when there is a real reason. I know that these people have been abusive to us, called us names, made us feel like dirt and all that but letting the child see them isn’t about us or them, it is for the good of your child. Your child is half you and half them no matter what the issues between you both. It may not be easy and it may not be fun but if they are safe( a huge consideration), and able to care for the children, they deserve some time with the kids also. There is a lot in to this one as it all depends on the situation, how they treat the kids, what the are doing and many more issues. Also with this one I am not including those who are actually abusive to their kids. If there is real abuse going on then recording the conversations may be included in the paperwork so there is no way to say they didn’t know they were being recorded.
This is a general thing not a specific thing to include but I find it very important to include. You will want to include in the schedule in very plain terms, very specific and include every eventuality you can think of. I suggest including what happens if one parent plans something on the other parents time, how that works, extracurricular activities, who drops off, who picks up, how time for birthdays will be divided, holidays, everything. We never know what they will try to use against us so having it all in the parenting plan helps to stop their addict behavior of trying to cause issues before it even starts. If they are active addicts they will most likely be angry that you stood up for yourself and try to do anything they can to upset you but don’t let them. If you can think of it so can they, try to cover everything.
Who Pays for What
Who will pay for what and how much. I know most primary parents will receive child support but I think it is really important to include the cost of after school activities, if they put the child in a class and expect you to take them who pays for the gas, who pays for the uniform? What about school supplies? Clothes every year? These are extra expenses that are not included in the child support. Most of the time they will not want to pay more than the bare minimum as if it is for you and not their children. I don’t understand why they almost all think we use this money for parties and junk but there is some part of many of them that does. If you include all this in the paperwork they can’t just decide not to help. It will probably upset them but we need to look out for the best for our kids, which they as addicts, can not do. They are not able to look outside of themselves in many instances.
Think Through Everything
There are many things that need to be included in parenting plans but I think these 5 are important for everyone dealing with porn or sex addicts. Sadly while they are in their addiction they are not thinking about their children or really anyone but themselves. This gives us some control over what happens while our children are out of our care even though it limits us in some ways too. In most cases they are not intentionally trying to hurt their children or even upset them but in their need to feel like they have control, as most addicts do, they will go to levels we wouldn’t have thought they would before the divorce or separation. I know that many are not inherently bad people and do not intend to portray them as such, this is from actual experiences I have witnessed and lived through. Many may never get to the point that these people were at to make the judgements they did.
See if You can Talk about Dating
I would also look into limiting who can be around the kids in a dating way too, but that is not something I have actually seen work in court. It may just not be possible but if you get it included please share how below. Also are there any other things you think should be included here?
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