If you’re going through a divorce, a lot is changing in your life. Your romantic relationship may be over; but, if you have children, your parenting relationship continues. Redefining your relationship to your co-parent is a difficult and emotional process. Enter the parenting plan.
The Purpose of a Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is a document you and your co-parent author together. It is a blueprint for how you will tend to your children’s psychological, emotional and physical well-being. It addresses:
- How to give them the best upbringing
- How to minimize the impact of your divorce on them
- How to give each parent space for their strengths and parenting methods
- How to make parenting decisions that are in the best interest of the children
Where to Begin?
Knowing what to cover is intimidating. Without a crystal ball, it’s hard to know what issues will come up and where clarification will be needed. Keep a list as you go through your routine with your children and take note of what feels important and where you see potential conflict.
Your Co-Parent Will Have Different Priorities.
Working with your co-parent during this time will probably feel raw. They are going to have different ideas and priorities when it comes to decisions around your children. As much as it may feel like it, they aren’t necessarily being contrary out of spite. Step back and listen, just hearing someone can make a big difference in your ability to collaborate.
What Is Included in a Parenting Plan?
There is a lot to cover. Some of the big ones are:
- Custody schedule
- Vacations and holidays
- Basic needs: clothes, school supplies, haircuts, etc.
- Family contact
- Conflict resolution
Take Your Time
A parenting plan is a comprehensive document. Each of the topics listed above will require detailed attention, clear thought and careful negotiation. Even small details like after school classes can come with a subset of questions: Who pays for it? Who will transport? How long does the class go? The more you can agree on now, the less you will disagree on later. Your ability to stay present and cooperative while scripting your parenting plan will inform how you communicate with your co-parent in the future.
We Can Help
Like all facets of your divorce, you want your parenting plan to be done right. Having an experienced advocate who can guide you through every step of the process will make building a new life easier. Send us a message today and let us answer your questions about parenting plans or anything else related to your divorce.