Be Patriotic – Follow the Children’s Bill of Rights.
It may not be a constitutional Bill of Rights, but many courts are now following a Children’s Bill of Rights. A Children’s Bill of Rights is a list of the kinds of things that all good parents should provide for their children. For example, children have the right not to be dragged into the middle of a child custody battle, not to choose between their parents, and not to feel like they’re responsible for the breakup of their parents’ relationship.
More and more frequently these days, courts are attaching a Children’s Bill of Rights to their custody orders. They are ordering parents to abide by the enumerated rights. But you can go one step further: You can draft your own Bill of Rights. You can include any number of parenting fundamentals in your list. When you negotiate a custody and visitation plan, be sure that both of you subscribe to your Bill of Rights, and attach it to your settlement agreement.
Your Bill of Rights can include a provision that neither parent shall defame or malign the other in the presence of the children. It can require state that children enjoy the right to regular and predictable contact with both of their parents, and that they have the right to be picked up and dropped off on time. It can provide that children have the right to telephone contact with each of their parents, in privacy, without being monitored by the other parent or coached from the sidelines.
Following a Bill of Rights – whether prescribed by the court or self-designed – can prevent some of the petty annoyances of a shared parenting arrangement. When one parent ignores the Bill of Rights, the other parents gains greater enforcement power.