While it is possible to come up with parenting plans with your former spouse, not all parents can have a healthy discussion with their ex-partner.
After separating from your former spouse, the idea of co-parenting might seem awkward and even stressful for many. Creating co-parenting arrangements can be complicated, especially when two people have not had an amicable separation.
However, if it is decided that both parties are to have equal responsibilities and joint custody of the children, it is important to come up with effective plans through which both parties will be able to uphold their responsibilities.
Co-parenting plans can address things like education, finance, visitation schedules, holidays and special events, children’s health care and medical needs, and decision-making rules.
While it is natural for two parties to face challenges in coming up with co-parenting plans, it is essential to always remember that such arrangements are considered to be in the best interests of the child.
The aim of this article is to highlight a few tips and strategies – as suggested by JB Solicitors – which can be kept in mind while formulating co-parenting arrangements.
#1 Effective communication
This is easily one of the most important aspects if you wish to have a successful co-parenting strategy in place. Communicating with your former spouse about the needs of the child will allow you and your former spouse to fulfill your parental duties efficiently.
Moreover, as part of communication, being respectful towards each other is also necessary to avoid any disputes or arguments. This also applies when you are speaking about your former spouse in front of your children. Speaking ill about your former spouse will negatively impact your child’s perception about them.
#2 Create written arrangements/schedules
Having a fixed written plan is always better than verbal agreements. This allows you to create a certain schedule which you and your former spouse, as well as children can get used to.
In creating plans, you can gauge if involving other parties such as relatives is a prudent step or not. Generally, it is beneficial to create a schedule just among the two parents so as to create less confusion and less disruption.
As part of creating schedules, parents can use and share their calendars extensively in noting down important events.
#3 Be flexible
Flexibility is key to make any arrangement work. Especially for the sake of the children, it is necessary to be as accommodating as possible. This means that in case the other party has sudden plans, it is essential for you to step up.
Although having a fixed co-parenting schedule is recommended, things don’t always go according to plan. For these reasons, it is imperative to be flexible and handle disruptions appropriately. Similarly, compromising wherever possible is also important for the sake of your children.
#4 Back-up arrangements
Having back-up arrangements in place is important in case both parties are unable to care for the child at a given time. Due to unexpected circumstances, it may be possible that you are not able to give your time to the children.
To avoid confusion later, it is better to chalk out back-up plans while making schedules with your former spouse. These back-up plans can involve relatives like grandparents, or close friends as well.
#5 Deal with different parenting styles
After separation, it is not necessary that both parties will have the same parenting styles. Co-parenting can be challenging when both parties have very different parenting styles.
However, it is important to understand how complicated the situation is, and deal with different parenting styles effectively. As long as your former partner’s parenting style is healthy for your children, there is no need to disagree with them.
While it is possible to come up with parenting plans with your former spouse, not all parents can have a healthy discussion with their ex-partner. Quite often, people face challenges in reaching agreements.
For these reasons, it is important to use mediation and family dispute resolution services which are offered by family law firms. Lawyers can understand the concerns of each party and come up with arrangements which are satisfactory for both parties.
If you are looking to make co-parenting plans with your former partner, it is best to speak with a lawyer today and not cause further delays. A divorce or separation itself takes a great toll on the mental health of the children. Hence, implementing good parenting arrangements will help them with the transition.