If you and your spouse have children and are facing divorce, you are also facing the new responsibility of co-parenting.
If you have chosen mediation for your divorce option, the two of you can work together to create a parenting plan that will benefit everyone.
Establishing the schedule
Your parenting plan will probably focus primarily on the schedule. Courts favor parents spending as much time as possible with the children. Therefore, create a rotation pattern that allows the children to have time with both of you regularly. Some parents set up identical schedules at each home to keep track of comings and goings. Add special events, appointments and extracurricular activities as they arise.
Planning for other considerations
Include who will be responsible for making major decisions on the children’s behalf, such as education, healthcare and religious upbringing. You should also include the financial plan, how you will split expenses pertaining to the children. Of equal importance is deciding how you intend to deal with parenting problems that arise going forward. Your mediator can offer guidance and help you resolve any sticking points.
In a divorce, the court wants to know how you intend to raise your children, and the best interests of those children is the uppermost concern. Unfortunately, there are no set rules to guide you and your soon-to-be-ex in your new role as co-parents; every situation is different. However, in writing a parenting plan, you establish a good framework to help in the important task of raising your children with love and support in a post-divorce world.