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How do you develop a co-parenting plan?

Divorcing with children is anything but easy. And, while it might not be the most ideal situation for parents, it is sometimes in the best interests of everyone involved. This leaves divorcing parents with the task of determining how best to parent post-divorce. There is no one-size-fits-all to post-divorce parenting, but there are ways to assess what type of parenting plan could benefit everyone, especially the children. If it is possible to maintain a relationship post-divorce, it can be extremely beneficial and valuable to co-parent.

How do you develop a co-parenting plan? To begin, a co-parenting plan should be explained. This is a written document that details and outlines exactly how parent will raise the children after they are separated or divorces. The idea is that this document is drafted with the best interests of the children in mind.

A co-parenting plan must detail specifics. This included how much time each parent will spend with the child or children. It also outlines scheduling details, pick-ups and drop-offs, how parents will make major and minor decision, the way exchanges of information about the children will be communicated, the handling of extracurricular activities and how parents will resolve any disputes that arise.

The written co-parenting plan does not just help parents, but also helps all family members. Parents are expected to know what is written in the document, following it throughout their co-parenting experience. It can also help parents understand what isn't working and what might need to be changed. It is a valuable reference for making timely and mutually agreeable changes.

Thinking about spending less time with your child is never easy; however, it is a tough topic that must be faced by divorcing parents. During dissolution, parents seek the best arrangement for their children, even if that means spending less than half of the time with them. Nonetheless, divorcing parents should be aware of their parental rights, helping them assert them when a family law issue arises.

Source: Psychologytoday.com, "Developing Co-Parenting Plans," Edward Kruk Ph.D., Oct. 24, 2015

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