Monday, March 25, 2013

Co Parenting Marriage Questionnaire

If you are looking to marry someone who already has children, it is important to have many conversations about how you plan to raise those children together and what your priorities, values, and rules are.  Below is a guide for that conversation with some starting points for some issues that could arise.  

**As a married couple, you will have many new adventures, celebrations and challenges. As co-parents, there will be many others to add to that list.  It is important to foster communication on every level as a couple, and even more so as parents.  Below are a number of questions relating to different areas of life.  I would encourage you to look through them and answer them for yourselves as individuals and then share them with each other. After you talk through them together, I would encourage you to choose the relevant areas to talk about with your child(ren). Remember communication is important, not just for you as a couple, but also for your whole family.

What is your role as a parent as far as instigating work or education?
·         for biological parent(s)?
·         For step/co parent?
How much are you willing to pay to support each kid? For how long?
·         For School?
o   Are grades a factor?
o   What actions or behaviors would cause you to limit or stop financial support?
o   If support were lost, are there actions that could earn it back?
·         For Living?
o   How much?
o   How often?
o   What actions or behaviors would cause you to limit or stop financial support?
o   If support were lost, are there actions that could earn it back?
o   Where does this money come from?
o   What if one of you loses your job or takes a pay cut, how will that affect financial support of the child(ren)?
·         For clothes? Shoes? Necessities?
·         For movies, shopping, food, or fun stuff?
What are the chore responsibilities for kids? For the adults/parents/couple?
·         What is currently happening as far as chores?
·         Are there things you would like to change now?
·         Is there a schedule?
·         When are chores expected to be completed?
·         What happens if they aren’t done?
·         Who is responsible for calling attention to undone jobs/chores?
·         Are there incentives (like an allowance) for completing chores?
·         **It would be good to discuss this as a couple and then with children living in the home so everyone is clear about expectations, rules, and consequences.
Who is responsible for cooking/meals?
·         Who buys groceries?
·         What is the budget for groceries?
·         For meals out?
·         Is there a set time for when meals should be ready?
·         When do you (each) need/prefer to eat?
·         If there is designated cook, what happens if someone else wants or needs to cook? 
·         If there is a designated cook, how often would that person not be responsible for meals?
·         If there is not a designated cook, who decides who will cook each main meal?
·         What are your expectations as far as eating together as a couple?  As a family?

How do you handle discipline for the kids? Who reprimands the kids? Asks them to follow through?
·         What if discipline is needed?
·         Are there set rules?
·         Consequences?
·         Are there currently any problem areas? 
·         What are the kids doing well already that they can be praised for?

Who has what level of authority in terms of parenting? In terms of running the house? How will you establish it?

What are your priorities as a couple? What are your goals?
·         Where do you see yourselves
o   in 5 years?
o   10 years?
o   20 years?
o   30 years?
·         What are your aspirations for work?
·         For your home?
·         For your family?
·         For your budget?
·         For travel?
·         For personal goals or accomplishments?
·         Where are your priorities different?
What are your holiday customs and rituals?
·         Where do you spend the holidays?
·         Which holidays do you celebrate?
·         Which customs/rituals are extra important to include (a certain food on Thanksgiving? A certain custom around decorating the house for Christmas? When do you open Christmas presents?)
·         Which family and/or friends do you spend your holidays with?
·         What new customs/rituals would you like to establish for yourselves as a couple? As a family?
·         How will custody be shared with the kids’ biological mother? Is there already a schedule in place? What about with additional family or in-laws?
How important is practice of faith/religion to you?
·         What are your expectations for _______________________ (both for yourself and for your spouse)
·         worship?
·         For bible study?
·         For prayer?
·         For mission?
·         For fellowship?
·         What are your expectations for the kids and church?
·         Will you pray at meals?
o   At home?
o   In public?
o   Together?
o   A set prayer or a spontaneous prayer?

1 comment:

Layne Adams said...

A traditional family doesn't always make sense today and sometimes what we really want is be able to bring children into this world and to raise them in a supportive environment. That's why you should choice the perfect co-parenting match.