One of the key ways to have a successful relationship with the other parent of your children after you have separated is through a parenting plan. It is likely that you and your ex do not see eye to eye on all arrangements concerning your children. If you share custody, there might be minor disputes regarding who will pick up your child from soccer practice, who should help them with homework, and where they should stay on weeknights versus weekends.
While all of these minor conflicts are normal and natural in a coparent relationship, they can be successfully solved through the creation of a robust parenting plan.
A parenting plan is a document that you and the other parent draft together. It is essentially an agreement that sets out how life should and will look for your children, and it can contain as many details as you think necessary. It is not a legally binding document, however, it can be a tool that can prevent expensive court disputes.
Where do I start creating a parenting plan?
You should always set out to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your child rather than something that is most convenient for your work schedule, for example. You should remember the importance of routine for children, and that many children struggle emotionally from the confusion of frequently traveling between homes. It helps if the schedule is based on a weekly or biweekly basis, so that children know what to expect and so that they have a sense of security and predictability.
How do I involve the other parent in the parenting plan?
Its vital that both parents are on board with the parenting plan, because otherwise it will be difficult to enforce in the long term. It should be a collaborative process, and one strategy is for one parent to make a draft and ask the other parent to amend it based on what they think is the best solution. In this way, a compromise can be made.
If you are trying to solve custody issues in the state of Colorado, there are many possible resolutions and it is a good idea to consider your options.