While no one wants to go through an endless separation battle, staying together for your children’s sake can do more harm than good. Therefore, when creating a co-parenting plan, ensure you write everything down to maintain boundaries and agreed-upon regulations.
Divorce and custody battles can be difficult and draining for you and your child(ren). However, there are ways to mediate and create a peaceful environment for everyone involved in the divorce, even when establishing custody.
Studies suggest that children undergoing a divorce in their family have more behavioral problems, social withdrawal, academic struggles, and a lack of self-concept.
While creating a co-parenting plan, it may be best if you have an unbiased opinion alongside to settle disagreements and manage the conversation healthily.
What Is a Healthy Co-Parenting Relationship?
A healthy co-parenting relationship is where separated couples come together maturely and respectfully to discuss details about their child or children.
During a healthy co-parenting relationship, there is always respect for one another, meaning you both understand that a relationship cannot work. Still, you both agree that your children come first.
There are two ways to make the separation process more manageable when it comes to co-parenting: strategic or social-psychological.
The strategic problem-solving method suggests no emotional reasoning behind any decision. You do not discuss each other’s lives but are there to support your child under a strict co-parenting plan.
The social-psychological problem-solving method is a friendlier option between parents where all decisions are made together, and open communication is a must.
Before creating your co-parenting plan, you shall decide which process is more manageable and work as a team.
Tips for Making Co-Parenting Easier
After some time has passed and the air is a little lighter, you and your ex must make time to create a parenting plan in person. During the process, there are some do’s and don’ts you both should be aware of:
- Be open and honest with each other during the divorce.
- Rules for children should be consistent in both households.
- Create boundaries for other members of each other’s family.
- Update each other.
- Talk badly about your ex in front of or around your children.
- Be honest with your children but don’t involve them with the statistics of your agreement.
- Resist the urge to be fun, relaxed, or laid back while you have your child – it makes things difficult for the other parent.
- Do not use your child to punish your ex.
#1. The Schedule
Whether you agree to have custody over your child 50/50, or 20/80, a schedule is set in place, so there are no future disagreements about who has more or less time with their child.
Also, a parenting schedule allows both parties to know what will happen, making no room for the miscommunication regarding custody.
A good schedule should include:
- School breaks
- Special events
- Weekdays and weekends
#2. Decision Making
Making decisions for your child together after divorce is not an easy process. In your parenting agreement, ensure you write down how you will make decisions – together or separately. Some options include:
- One parent makes all the big decisions.
- Both parents have equal decision-making responsibilities on their own time.
- Parents make decisions together.
- Each parent makes decisions based on different things.
When determining outcomes for your child(ren), you’ll need to make choices regarding medical care, birthdays, education, religion, and extracurricular activities.
Remember, if you disagree on a decision involving custody, you can compromise, change your decision-making plan, or call in an unbiased friend to help you sort things out.
#3. Financial Responsibilities
In most cases, child support is discussed through legal authorities. However, both parents are responsible for providing for their children.
Financial responsibilities include the bare minimum, such as food, shelter, clothing, and above all else, your child’s emotional needs. Emotional and financial obligations might consist of tutoring, extracurricular activities, and creative arts.
Each parent will decide whether to share all finances based on their child’s needs or may separate finances while they have their child on their own time.
#4. Communication Standards and Boundaries
The final step in planning a co-parenting arrangement is boundaries and communication. Both parties must express their boundaries and decide what works for each other regarding custody.
Standard rules may include:
- A rule is that each parent has what the child(ren) needs in their household.
- No parent shall speak negatively about each other.
- An in-depth guide on how to resolve future disputes.
- An in-depth guide about making changes if needed to the parenting agreement.
- A guide on when you will reassess the parenting schedule and agreement.
During the communication part of the agreement, each individual shall always respect and listen to the other.
Bottom Line: How To Make Co-Parenting Easier
Co-parenting is not an easy process. However, if there is an explicit written agreement that both individuals have taken the time to discuss and arrange, the future will have fewer arguments and flow smoother.
Remember, your custody arrangement may not work for one of you at any given time. Therefore, it’s essential to reassess the parenting agreement every three months until you find a balance that works for both parties.
If you want to speak with a legal expert about creating an effective co-parenting plan, contact CJB Law today.