You and your former spouse may have recently divorced and you share children. So now, you must consider co-parenting options that will work successfully for you, your former spouse and especially your children.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a child custody plan that is negotiated by you and your former spouse, and may be in your final divorce verdict. It says who will have the children on what dates and at what times. As a loving and attentive parent, your children’s happiness is very important. That is why it is best to create a parenting plan while keeping their needs first.  It is also a good way to show your children that you and your former spouse are willing to work together for their benefit. Here are some things to possibly include in your parenting plan:

  • Keep your children’s needs in mind- going between two homes is never easy. Try to step into your children’s’ shoes to see what their new lives will be like.
  • Time spent with you and your former spouse- you should consider who will be the primary caregiver and how the time will be split on the weekends, or the days that your children will be out of school like spring and summer breaks. It is also a good idea for you and your former spouse to live close to each other to make transportation convenient for everyone.
  • Share responsibilities- both you and your former spouse should agree on all the important matters concerning your children. Things such as religious rearing, what schools they attend and their doctors. You will both have access to school and medical records.
  • What about school and activity schedules? You should consider any before or after school activities that your children may be involved with. You need to discuss this as well.
  • Should your children be involved? If you have older children, it is a good idea to discuss your parenting plan with your family with open dialogue. It is an opportunity to see if they have preferences about certain days of the week.

There are also a few things you should not do while making a parenting plan. Do not try to get back at your former spouse by being uncooperative. Remember, your children’s needs come first. Do not try to make a schedule that is more convenient for you. Also, do not think that you are the only capable parent. Your former spouse may have a different parenting style but can still be an effective parent.

Making sure your children’s needs are kept in mind will ensure that you can develop a parenting plan  that works.