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Tips for working together to create a parenting plan

Working together to create a parenting plan can be difficult, especially when emotions are running high due to a divorce. But if you can collaborate, not only will you save money and time, you also may preserve your co-parenting relationship. You may not be husband and wife any longer, but you will still be parents for a very long time. Graduations, birthdays and other celebrations will likely be celebrated together.

There are many aspects of a parenting plan which you will need to work out, but the key points of a successful arrangement generally revolve around five different aspects:

  • Overnight stays
  • Drop off and pick up
  • Activity time, including vacations and holidays
  • Daily decisions (bed time, chores, homework, and so on)
  • Major decisions (education, medical, etc.)

In a parenting plan, ideally, parents will share time and decision-making.

One of the best ways to start collaborating is to simply make a list of your own expectations before coming together to discuss what each of you want. A mediator can help start and develop a dialogue between you, but knowing your own ideas about child custody and visitation before you work together will help you stay focused and understand where you can be more flexible.

The challenges and benefits of creating a parenting plan

Although it will take a lot of effort to work with your future ex-spouse to find a way to parent together, it is worth it in the long-term aspects of your child's life. When you model peaceful decision-making, your children can learn from you.

It is always a good idea to have your divorce attorney look over your parenting plan before it is filed with the court. The second pair of eyes can make sure you did not overlook something important, and relying on your legal advocate can help ensure the agreement is valid and enforceable.

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