Crafting a co-parenting plan is important for successful co-parenting. Parents in California who are designing their co-parenting plan should focus on addressing as many details as they can pertaining to child rearing and decision-making.
What should you include in a co-parenting plan?
At its most basic, a co-parenting plan will outline the child custody schedule, indicating when the children are with each parent. However, to craft a plan that works for everyone, it is better to go beyond the schedule. Some of the other things that can be addressed in a co-parenting plan include:
- How special events, birthdays and holidays will be spent
- How medical and educational decisions will be made
- Which parent will hold important documents such as passports and records
- Rules and routines to be followed at both homes, such as bedtime and chores
- Ways of communicating when the children are with the other parent
- When and how a new significant other is introduced to the children
- The role extended family will play in the children’s lives
The importance of communication
Communication is important when the parents are crafting a co-parenting plan because this can minimize disagreements in the future. Parents need to be open and honest and ready to discuss hard topics that will affect the children’s upbringing. Parents should also include methods of communication that they find useful. Additionally, a co-parenting plan should include methods for conflict resolution, so there is a plan in place when differences arise.
The co-parenting plan as a living document
The needs of a family change over time, particularly as children grow. For this reason, a co-parenting plan is a living document that can change to accommodate new needs. Both parents should discuss the changes and agree on them.
When parents set out on a co-parenting journey, they are invested in its success for their children’s sake. Creating a plan that anticipates as many possible issues related to childrearing can help support them on the road to success.