Determining how your divorce will go is just the first step when your marriage ends. If you’re a parent, you also have to plan for what life will look like after that divorce, as you share custody of your children. After all, shared custody is the preference of the courts and is far more common than sole custody.
What this means is that the odds are very good that you’re going to have to work with your ex to co-parent your children, no matter how you and your ex feel about each other. And, when you do, it’s very beneficial to have a parenting plan.
Ensuring that you’re both on the same page
First of all, the parenting plan ensures that you and your ex are on the same page regarding the details: when you’ll have the children, how you’ll conduct the exchanges, what your goals are for raising the kids, etc. You can even use the parenting plan to get into types of discipline or set schedules, like when the kids go to bed. Consistency and routine are hugely beneficial for children who live in two homes.
Making big decisions up front
The parenting plan also allows you to make some big decisions in advance, rather than waiting until the moment they need to be made — which can be more emotional. For instance, you can decide how you’ll handle holidays and birthdays. You can talk about extracurricular activities and milestone events. It’s easier to make these decisions while you’re getting divorced so you both know where you stand.
Avoiding disputes and misunderstandings
Finally, a parenting plan can just make co-parenting go more smoothly by addressing potential disputes in advance and helping you avoid them. You can come up with proper resolutions if there are areas you still disagree on, and you can simply find common ground — given the benefit of time and a more neutral setting — so you don’t have to argue about these details in the moment.
If you want to draft a parenting plan, it’s important to know how the legal process works. This important document needs to be discussed, drafted and filed properly.