Creating a well-thought-out parenting plan may make the transition from marriage to divorce a lot easier for you and your children.
One major part of your plan should include guidelines for communication. Having a detailed calendar and coordinating daily routines between two homes may help provide stability for children too.
Choose a preferred communication method
You will thank your future self if you decide early on how you would like to communicate with your ex on all child-related topics and concerns. Even if you find that both you and your ex-spouse are okay with the phone calls or text updates. Having a place to organize all child-related documents, finances and the custody schedule can help you communicate on all your child’s needs without having to scramble for documents or blame one another for being disorganized. Thankfully, co-parenting apps create a space for parents to organize everything and message one another.
Develop a detailed calendar
A large portion of your parenting plan will include a schedule for how you will divide parenting time. Adding as much detail as possible is going to be helpful for short-term plans, like how you will handle custody exchanges. It will also be useful to think about long-term plans, like who will spend time with children on specific holidays and breaks from school. Holidays can be stressful even before divorce, so developing a pattern you will follow for who will care for children on specific holidays through the years can create one less thing to worry about during hectic times of the year.
Making rules regarding schedule change requests will also help provide consistency in life. Otherwise, if you build a lot of flexibility into your schedule, it will be hard for children to feel grounded and difficult for co-parents stick to the specific amount of days they have with their children per their settlement.
Determine if you’ll coordinate routines
You’ll also want to decide how much or how little you’d like to coordinate your child’s day-to-day routines between both homes. For example, you’ll want to outline whether things like bedtime will happen at the same time at both mom’s house and dad’s house. Keeping similar routines can offer predictability that may be comforting to children after divorce. But they also require fairly high level of coordination between co-parents. So, if you aren’t willing to work closely with your ex after divorce, then you’ll want to make that clear in your plan as well.
When you come across roadblocks or uncertainty as you create a parenting plan, you can consult an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process.