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4 steps to create a working parenting plan during a divorce

To the average parent considering a divorce, the hardest thing about the future is the idea of allocating parenting time. Having kids together generally means that a clean break during divorce isn’t an option.

You need an arrangement that sets rules for parenting. The following four steps could help you.

Stop looking at your ex as an enemy and start seeing them as an ally

Whatever your ex may have done during your marriage, your relationship is no longer about the two of you. Now, the focus is on your kids. It can be a lot easier to find things that you like about someone else when you view them as a co-parent and not as a failed romantic partner. They are someone whose parenting you likely will want to uphold and support, with the hope that they will do the same for you.

Think about what the kids need and what is realistic

Some families with two working parents can make 50/50 custody work. Other families need a less even split of parenting time. Once you reach a split that you think is appropriate, you are going to have to work toward setting up more concrete details for your family. You want an arrangement that addresses both daily life and special events.

Everything from holiday schedules to how to handle sports practices and games could play a role in the details that you create. Trying to address many current practical needs while keeping the rules broad and interpretive for the future could result in a framework that lasts until your children are adults.

Set basic rules for the kids to follow at both homes

Your parenting provisions should help support consistency between households. Rather than relying on a verbal agreement for the resolution of future parenting issues, people often can preemptively address issues by properly setting legally appropriate rules and expectations in writing at an early stage of their negotiations. That can make it easier for you to offer your children consistent discipline.

Make sure you have plans for when things don’t go well

Disagreements and other complications are all but inevitable after a divorce. You and your ex should decide what communication and conflict resolution rules you want for when things become unpleasant. Using a parenting app, agreeing to communicate straightforwardly about the needs of the children, and agreeing to conflict resolution systems now should make it easier for you to negotiate parenting in separate households.

Creating a parenting plan is an important step in a divorce with children. Putting in the work now can make this change easier for everyone in your family and reduce stress in the future.  Our lawyers are available to help with advice and representation on these plans.