A co-parenting plan is a great way to help your family transition after divorce and learn how to live with new dynamics. The document is an agreement between parents that outlines a strategy for moving forward.
There are many ways to use a co-parenting plan and they are flexible enough that you can customize them to the needs of your family. Here are a few things you should consider putting in your agreement:
- Time sharing and visitation
- Custody agreements
- Decision making and conflict resolution approaches
- Schedules to follow to create consistent routine for the children
- Care for children’s needs
- House rules like diets, bedtimes and punishments
- Emergency plans
- Plans for holidays, birthdays and vacations
- Education and daycare
- Religious involvements
- Medical care
- Jobs and driving rules for older children
- Communication strategies
- Rules for communicating around the children, including not fighting around them
- Rules against abuse and putting children in the middle of arguments
- Rules about dating other people around the children
- Strategies for changing the agreement
Your agreement can also include a statement about how you will approach co-parenting, including your shared responsibilities, agreement to respect one another and vow to put the children first.
You should create your plan in tandem with both your co-parent and your lawyers to ensure that it lines up with the rest of your divorce agreements. As your family grows and changes, you can also go back and reassess your co-parenting plan to make sure that it fits your family’s needs.