What should you include in a co-parenting plan?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Child Custody |

In divorces that involve children, a well-drafted co-parenting plan becomes a couple’s top priority. This plan will serve as the roadmap for how you and your spouse will continue to care for and raise your children together even when you are no longer married and in separate households.

A parenting plan must be clear and comprehensive to minimize misunderstandings and conflicts. It should also help establish a sense of normalcy for children during a time as emotionally challenging as divorce. What makes an effective co-parenting plan?

Legal custody arrangements

Legal custody determines who will make the critical decisions about your children’s lives after divorce. Whether you choose joint or sole legal custody, your decision must be what best works for your children and your family’s unique situation.

Detailed visitation schedules

Your visitation schedule is one of the most defining parts of your co-parenting plan’s success. This should clearly state where your children will live on a daily basis and how you will handle weekends, holidays and school breaks. This schedule can be extremely helpful in establishing a routine that your children can rely on. The more specific you can be with this schedule, the better.

Health care arrangements

It would help if you also established a guideline for managing your children’s health care needs in your co-parenting plan. This includes who will hold the health insurance for your children and how you will make medical decisions. You must also outline how you will handle out-of-pocket expenses, ensuring your children always have access to the care they need.

Communication guidelines

Having clear communication guidelines is vital in establishing an effective co-parenting plan. Decide how you will share information about your children and how often. Whether through phone calls, texts, emails or a co-parenting app, the methods you choose must create clear and open communication for everyone in your family, especially your children.

Children, especially those in their formative years, need stability and consistency in their lives. However, these elements can take a lot of work to come by during a divorce. A parenting plan can help ensure that your children’s lives remain as supported and consistent as possible despite the changes within the family structure.



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