After a divorce, you may never want to deal with your ex-partner again. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent you usually won't have that luxury.
A quality parenting plan can help you minimize the conflicts between both parents, as well as helping everyone stay on the same page. Here are a few key aspects to have in any parenting plan:
A shared schedule
Juggling two adults’ schedules is a difficult prospect. There's never going to be a perfect childcare schedule. Do your best to create one that involves both parents while keeping some semblance of consistency.
If you are working a job with changing hours, have a plan for what to do with different work schedules. Try to stay flexible, and do your best. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Clearly defined boundaries
When children change households, things like chores or diets can get lost in the shuffle. It’s important that you and your ex-partner are on the same page around boundaries. Don’t let your child bend the rules on the night before they leave for their other parent’s house.
Make sure you and your ex are on the same page when it comes to things like dietary restrictions and bedtimes. If you do not maintain consistent boundaries in each household, your child may act out or develop bad habits in one household.
Develop a method of communication
Unfortunately, you will need to stay in communication with your ex as a co-parent. This is just part of life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have boundaries.
Determine if you’re okay with phone calls from your ex-spouse in non-emergency situations, or if you’d rather get texts. Creating a shared online calendar may be a painless way to keep appointments updated.
Communication is an important aspect of co-parenting, so take some time to find a method that works. Don't be afraid to admit a communication style isn't working.
Careful planning can prevent conflict
Nobody expects you to be best friends with your ex-spouse. But as a co-parent, it’s important to be able to communicate and plan effectively without conflict.
A skilled divorce attorney can help you create a detailed co-parenting agreement that addresses your main concerns.