Parents who are going through a divorce must figure out a parenting plan. This is an agreement that outlines details about custody and visitation time with each parent.

Taking the time to create a parenting plan that each parent agrees with is beneficial for the parents, as it makes schedules clear and reduces conflicts. It is also beneficial for the child, as it allows time with both parents.

General considerations for co-parents

It may be challenging to know what to include in a parenting plan. According to PsychCentral, both parents need to focus on what is best for the child. No matter what the exact specifics the plan entails, it is important that rules are consistent from one parent to another.

If parents are unable to have civilized conversations about coming up with a plan, working with a mediator or communicating via email may be better. Parents should also not show conflict in front of the child or pit one parent against the other.

Parenting plan specifics

According to the California Courts, parents should consider schedules and decision-making when drafting a parenting plan. Plans will differ depending on each family’s schedules and dynamics, but in general, the plan should deal with physical and legal custody issues.

The plan should outline where the child will live during the week, weekends, vacations, school breaks and holidays. It should also highlight who is in charge of what activities as well as transportation details. In terms of legal custody topics, the plan should be clear about who will make decisions about education, religion, medical care, emergency situations and things, such as driving and jobs, related to older children.