A well-written parenting plan is the foundation of effective co-parenting. When it is clear what is expected of each parent and how to handle different situations, there is less opportunity for disputes and misunderstandings.
A parenting plan is so helpful that some states actually require couples to create one before finalizing divorce. Co-parenting a child is a major undertaking with many known pitfalls and unexpected complexities. It’s difficult and it requires cooperation between you and your ex. It’s a lot like running a business. You wouldn’t take on a business partner without investing a lot of time into communicating plans, expectations, and defining roles. A very similar process is needed here to eliminate the opportunity for misunderstandings, conflict, and to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together as much as possible.
How it works…
Our first concern is that everyone feels safe and comfortable. We can meet at a location that is agreeable and whatever time of day works for everyone.
We begin by acknowledging where you are and deciding where you want to end up. We identify and clarify the desires and concerns of you and your ex. From there, we’ll try to find ways to meet everyone’s needs. While attempts at negotiating may have failed in the past, we are often able to overcome resistance and find creative ways to ensure that everyone’s concerns are addressed and mutually satisfying agreements are made. The focus is always on finding win-win solutions that make everyone happy.
Once a Parenting Plan has been developed and agreed upon by both parents, parents will take it to their respective attorneys to be reviewed and integrated into a court order.
What we’ll cover…
The more complete a parenting plan, the more helpful it is. We’ll cover a range of issues including:
- Residential schedule
- Parent-child communication
- Parent-parent communication
- Visitation schedule
- Special occasions
- Schedule changes
- Medical care
- Special considerations
We’ll also cover how to address major disputes, for instance stipulating that arbitration is to be used before taking an issue to court. This can help you avoid costly courtroom battles in the future should the agreement fail.
How long does it take?
It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take to finish the parenting plan because it depends on both party’s willingness to compromise, focus on the issues, and work together.
How to get started…
We’ll want to find a date and time that works for everyone. If you are not comfortable communicating with your ex or if you think they won’t be open to the idea if you suggest it, we can contact them on your behalf.