After separating, talking with your former partner to create a plan for the children can feel overwhelmed. More so, you may be told to create a separation agreement which covers everything from property to parenting arrangements.
The parenting arrangement section is called a Parenting Plan, so let’s discuss it.
A parenting plan is just as it sounds: a written plan that outlines an agreement on how you will parent your children after separation. The goal is to provide co-parents with clear guidelines for each parent to follow, such as:
- How the children will spend time with each parent (Parenting time);
- How the parents will make major and day-to-day decisions about their children; (parent responsibilities)
- How information is shared between parents;
- How other related issues may be addressed, such as the involvement of a new partner with the children; and
- How future disagreements about the children are to be resolved.
A parenting plan is created based on the needs (best interest) of your children and fosters cooperation and minimizes conflict between co-parents. The plan needs to balance being detailed for usefulness and flexibility to be realistic.
Best for Now, and Revised Later
You are growing and so are your children, so how could you be expected to create a one-size-fits-all plan for your children’s next 10 years or more? Before separation, if asked to provide a plan for what your kids next month looked like, it would be pretty difficult… let alone figuring out their plan for the next few years.
So why do that now? Here are some options:
- “Trying out” an arrangement or schedule by creating a Temporary or Interim Plan to see how it fits your family may be what works best to create the best Parenting Plan that tailors your family’s needs.
- Create a plan that you know you will modify in the future. In your Parenting Plan you can have a clause to evaluate your plan with a mediator as your children grow or changes arise.
There is no perfect schedule or plan
This is tough, if not the toughest thing to agree upon with your co-parent. It is beneficial to understand your children’s needs and recognize how important spending quality time with both parents is for your children. Being on the same page, despite the reluctance to give up any time with your children, is key to success. Working together as c0-parents to protect your children’s future well-being will help with the post-separation adjustment.
We’re here to help. Did you know Family TLC provides Family Mediation; Our team has the expertise as family professionals to help make lives better as you piece together your family’s future.
Blog posts are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice.