Among the many benefits of having a plan for anything is reducing the likelihood for surprises. The same is true when it comes to establishing a parenting plan because it establishes clear expectations for you, your co-parent, and children.
Even the most amicable of divorced co-parents can find tension in trying to manage custody on the fly. In fact, it’s good to be on good terms with your co-parent because it can lead to a more favorable agreement for both sides.
What to consider
Before you sit down to iron out your family’s parenting plan, it’s a good idea to give thought to the things that are most important to you. A few things to consider include:
- Holidays and birthdays: If you’re the child’s mother, maybe you trade Father’s Day weekend to spend Mother’s Day weekend with them. The same goes for important birthdays. Remember, a good agreement likely involves compromise.
- Transportation: If your kids are younger than 16 years old, you will likely have direct involvement in the pickup and drop-off times for handing your children off to your co-parent. Think of what works best for you to ensure reduced stress in making the exchange.
- Vacations: Much like how you wouldn’t appreciate your co-parent requesting a sudden vacation with the kids that cuts into your parenting time, you can build your vacations into your parenting plan. Preparing in advance may allow you to give your co-parent an extra weekend to make up for your vacation time.
Every family is unique
Divorce and custody can be hard for everyone in the family, but having a plan is one of the best ways to ease that stress. Having a parenting plan allows you to schedule the rest of your life around your parenting schedule which can make the life easier for everyone in the family.