Creating a winning co-parenting plan
At the start, divorce feels like a win/lose situation. One parent may seem to have it all on paper, while the other struggles to make ends meet. On the flip side, the parent who seemingly has it all finds that they have little time to spend with their kids, while the other parent is with them all the time. Whether or not this example speaks to your situation, finding a balance between family life, your emotions and everything else is essential to every family when creating a winning co-parent plan. Here are a few items that should be considered so that both parents can start winning:
- Cooperation: In order to make co-parenting work, there must be some level of teamwork between parents. It is inevitable for parents to have a difference in opinion over some topics, like bedtime or your child’s diet, but arguing over these topics can often times become more of an issue than what you started with. A winning co-parenting plan will acknowledge differences in parenting styles and seek compromises and solutions so that arguments are more avoidable.
- Expect Change: Change is unavoidable during a divorce. While apprehension towards change is expected, it cannot be avoided indefinitely. Walking into new situations with a positive outlook will help you ease into the new situation more comfortably. Also, it is likely that your calm disposition will ease things for your kids and even your co-parent. Winning co-parenting plans will outline how several changes will take place, so be thorough when developing yours.
- Fixing a schedule: A parenting schedule is an important part of your parenting plan because it will note how often your children will be spending time with each parent. A winning co-parenting plan will take every family member’s schedule into consideration, not only the child’s. Formulate a schedule that allows each parent to spend time with the child yet also leaves room for each parent to focus on rebuilding their own personal lives. Try to stick to your regular schedule as much as possible to give your child a sense of stability as they get used to the new routine.
- Financial correspondence: Often times, children will not directly recognize a difference in economics from one parent’s home to the other, but they will feel it in other ways. A winning co-parenting plan takes economic correspondence into consideration. When considering child support payments, settle on a parenting budget for both households and calculate your support payments accordingly.