This is Part II in a series on basics that should be included in every parenting plan. Your Parenting Plan is the “master schedule” for the lives of you and your children after divorce. Click here to read Part I.
Will the parties jointly agree on medical, dental, and mental health treatment for the child?
Generally, each parent is free to take the child to religious instruction of his or her choosing during their own parenting time. Do the parties agree that they will raise the child in a specific religious faith?
One parent must be responsible to provide health insurance for the child, which is included in the calculation of child support.
Child support is based on the gross income of both parties, along with other additions for health insurance, work-related child care costs, and extraordinary medical expenses. The initial amount of child support, the due date, and whether it will be paid directly or through the Family Support Registry should all be included in the Parenting Plan.
Extraordinary Medical Expenses
Colorado defines medical expenses as being “extraordinary” when the total amount of uninsured medical expenses is more than $250 per year, per child. The parties can agree to change this figure, either by raising or lowering the amount. The Parenting Plan needs to specify how the parties will split these expenses (percentage based on income, 50/50, or some other formula).
Exchange of Financial Information
You should include a provision that the parties will exchange tax returns each year, to determine whether child support should be re-calculated. The parties can agree to modify child support and submit a stipulation to the court. A court will not order a modification unless there is a 10% change in the amount of child support that is due.
Dependent Tax Exemption
This is usually split between the parties in proportion to their income. The Parenting Plan should specify how this will be divided between the parties.