Even when you and your soon-to-be-ex divorce, you can still commit to parenting your child together. However, creating the right plan that allows you to do this can be difficult. Following are some tips to help you get started in the right direction.
Stay out of court
In most cases, parents are best suited for creating their parenting plan. Strangers, including judges, are generally not privy to all the details of how your family works and what you are capable of, so keeping your parenting decisions in your control and out of court can be preferable.
Instead of litigating these matters, parents can work together in a mediation setting to resolve them cooperatively.
This approach may not be easy, but it can be more peaceful and faster. Further, when parents are active in designing their arrangements, they often create a plan everyone can be satisfied with.
Consider other people’s input
While you and your child’s other parent may be well-suited to create your parenting agreement, you can benefit from taking other people’s opinions into account. Some of the people who can provide valuable insight into logistical arrangements and a child’s best interests include:
- Your child
- A custody specialist
- Teachers, coaches and other people in your child’s life
- A lawyer
You do not need to make decisions in a vacuum. Getting other perspectives from these parties can help you see the situation from different angles to help you cover them all.
Create a clear, comprehensive agreement
There is a lot of information parents can include that can help make the document a valuable reference now and in the future.
For instance, crucial elements of a parenting plan can include:
- Regular parenting schedules
- Holiday and vacation schedules
- Travel restrictions and rules
- Selected methods for resolving disputes
- Guidelines for sharing information about your child
- Directions for making decisions for your child’s education, religion and other important matters
- Guidance for emergencies
- Ground rules for contacting a parent during the other parent’s time
Making all these decisions and putting them in writing can seem overwhelming, especially when you are also tackling other divorce-related decisions. However, doing so can ensure your parenting plan continues to provide guidance on just about any scenario that could arise.
Parenting together after divorce can be challenging, but having a comprehensive and guiding parenting plan can make it easier for everyone.