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Creating a Successful Co Parenting Plan

Around 4 in 10 married couples in the US end up either divorced or separated.

When a child is involved this complicates everything. Kids with divorced parents are up to 16 percent more likely to experience emotional disorders.

Even when couples go their separate ways, your former partner remains the parent of your child.

In most cases, it is essential that you ensure you set up a co-parenting plan. This way you can maintain a healthy environment for your child to grow up in.

1. Your Child’s Best Interests

In the middle of the divorce, it can be easy to neglect what is in your child’s best interests. You need to put your child’s best interests first with a successful co-parenting plan. 

You may not be able to stand to be around your former spouse. And yet, you need to realize that permitting your child to spend time with both parents is important.  

You need to ask yourself what is in your kid’s best interests. That includes emotional, educational and physical needs.

  • The physical needs of your child include everything from shelter and clothing to healthcare and safety.
  • The emotional needs include mental health and relationships with parents and family.
  • The educational needs of your child such as schooling are also important to maintaining stability. 

When you’re putting together a co-parenting plan, your child needs to be first and foremost in your mind. 

2. Location and Distance 

If one parent is moving out of the family home, then you need to consider how to affects the child.

The distance between each parent has significant consequences of a co-parenting plan. If you’re over 100 miles away, you won’t be able to regularly to switch as the parent responsible for childcare.

This could also affect schooling and friends. For example, if one parent is nearer to your child’s school, then it makes sense for the child to stay at this parent’s home during the week.

You need to ensure that your co-parenting plan reflects the location of both parents. 

3. Determine a Parenting Schedule 

You need to determine which parenting schedule works for both of you. This will play an important role in deciding when your child spends time with you and the other parent.

You need to select a routine for your parenting schedule. Once you have made decisions, stick to it. Of course, this could change over time as your child grows up. 

If you have a child under the age of seven, regular changeovers may be necessary. And yet, if the children are much older, then they may be able to stand time away from one parent for longer. 

4. Divide Parenting 50/50 Split 

Dividing parenting 50/50 split is popular since it allows both parents to continue to play a significant role in the life of their children.

There are dozens of ways to make arrangements around a 50/50 parenting split. 

You could have a simple bi-weekly rotation. One week with one parent and the next week with the other parent. 

Weekends are especially important if the parents are working and the children are at school. Therefore, you may want to take this into account.

For example, the child could spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with one parent and Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the other parent. 

Then, this can switch each week to allow each parent to spend time on weekends with the child. 

5. The Every Other Weekend Parent 

Even though the 50/50 time split works for many families, it isn’t appropriate for parents who live far apart.

This is why many families adopt an every other weekend co-parenting plan. This allows both parents to spend time with the child despite challenges.

The disadvantages of the every other weekend parenting plan are that one parent gets the fun and excitement of the weekends. 

And yet, the other parent has to take care of the day-to-day parenting challenges, such as school homework.

6. What Happens During Holidays?

Every day isn’t equal. Parents want to spend time with the child on particular days more than others.

You need to work out a parenting plan early to account for this. For example, who spends time with the child on birthdays?

There are also extended vacations and holidays which need to be considered. This can be more important for many parents than the average Wednesday evening.

7. How to Stay in Touch

You may think that you’re definitely going to be able to stay in touch with your co-parent. However, you need to decide on how you’re going to do this in the co-parenting plan. 

There are likely to be many arrangements which need to be decided on a regular basis. Are you going to speak on the phone every day? Are you going to download a special app to stay connected?

8. How to Make Joint Decisions?

If you have shared legal custody of your child, you need to be able to make decisions together regarding your child.

What kind of school should you send your child to? How should you discipline the child for poor behavior?

You may even need to make last-minute emergency decisions. You need to be prepared for these kinds of scenarios. 

Creating a Co-Parenting Plan 

Splitting up of parents can be a stressful and difficult time for your child. You need to make sure this next stage of your kid’s life runs as smoothly as possible.

If you put together an effective co-parenting plan together you can ensure that your child gets through this period of their life. 

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