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The elements of a good parenting plan

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Parenting plans

When couples divorce, one of their primary concerns is splitting parenting time so both parties can spend time with their children. Even if the marriage is over, a co-parenting relationship needs to exist.

Studies have shown that children benefit when both parents are involved. Therefore, creating a fair and effective parenting plan is crucial.

Clear communication provides the foundation

Maintaining open and respectful communication is fundamental to successful co-parenting. Both parents should agree on the best ways to communicate about their child’s needs. Parents may need to rely on emails, a shared digital calendar, or a co-parenting app if emotions are running high. Eventually, they may be able to discuss issues via phone calls or in person.

Children thrive in a structured routine. Having a consistent schedule provides security during a traumatic time. A regular visitation schedule should state when the child will be spending time with each parent. The schedule should also take into account holidays, school breaks and vacations.

An effective co-parenting plan should also clearly outline how you will make decisions regarding the child. This may include decisions about education, healthcare, sports, extracurricular activities and religion. 

While consistency is important, so is flexibility. Life is unpredictable, and your parenting plan should allow for changes. There needs to be a system in place for dealing with unexpected events such as changes in work schedules, illness and snow days.

Depending on the child’s age, involving them in the planning process can also be beneficial. Having a say in the scheduling can help them feel heard and understood and reduce stress.

Every situation is different, and the parenting plan that works for one family may not work for yours. However, by focusing on your child’s needs, you can make it through the most challenging times and pave the way for a successful co-parenting relationship.


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