If you’re a parent, it’s likely you focused on your kids during your divorce. You want to ensure their lives aren’t too negatively impacted during this time and after. There are many steps you can take to make this possible. Creating an effective and thorough parenting plan can help.
What Goes Into A Parenting Plan?
Parenting plans are an essential part of co-parenting after divorce. If you and your spouse agree to share custody of your kids, a parenting plan can make or break your situation.
These plans can save you and your family a lot of headache down the road. Having everything outlined on paper takes the guesswork out of the situation so you don’t have to wonder what’s fair or how to handle certain problems with your ex.
To start, most parenting plans include:
- Custody time (i.e. when and how long the kids will spend with each parent, grandparents can be included here too)
- Travel between homes
- Arrangements for holidays or vacations
- Financial arrangements such as expenses for extracurriculars or activities
- Communication between parents and children
- How important decisions will be made (i.e. medical, educational, religious etc.)
- Philosophies regarding care of the children
These are just a few basic elements you can include in a parenting plan. However, these plans can be as detailed and specific as you’d like. You can include more guidelines and rules if you choose to.
How Do I Make It Work?
Now that you’ve created this plan, enforcing it and making it work is another story. There’s always a chance one party of the agreement will have disputes, complaints or simply forget about the agreed-upon rules.
There are a few different methods you can use to ensure your plan remains effective, such as:
- Using technology to keep everyone on schedule and accountable
- Appointing a moderator to resolve potential disputes
- Setting future dates to review and update the plan
Effective co-parenting after divorce is difficult but it can be done. A solid parenting plan is a good first step toward making your life and your kids’ lives easier after this major change.