Separation & Divorce
Part A: Information
Parenting plans are increasing in popularity as courts become more aware that if the focus is shifted toward a more "child centered" divorce, emphasizing and encouraging the ongoing involvement by both parents, everyone will benefit - children and parents alike.
The secret of successful co-parenting is putting the needs of your child or children ahead of your own. When both parents focus on the needs and best interests of the children, an effective co-parenting relationship, surprisingly, emerges.
What is a Parenting Plan?
Creating a co-parenting relationship and sharing decision making powers with a former spouse is not easy, but by taking one step at a time it is possible and as you reduce conflict and encourage communication, your children will feel more secure and less afraid.
Are Parenting Plans Necessary?
The quick answer is no. Written plans, however, provide children and parents with some assurances of maintaining meaningful contact and can help prevent future conflict.
Simply put, children do best when their parents cooperate - when parental conflict is kept to a minimum and the children are able to experience loving and meaningful relationships with both parents.
Children who experience ongoing conflict between parents, are at high risk for suffering serious long-term emotional problems.
In certain circumstances there may be a need for a safety focused parenting plan. The safety focused parenting plan will require more work and potential negotiation than a standard parenting plan.
Parenting Plan details:
Your parenting plan may be either general or detailed. Of course, the more detailed your parenting plan is the more difficult it will be to put together. At a minimum the plan should state the time the children will be with each parent.
What does a Parenting Plan cover?
In general terms a parenting plan will cover:
More specifically, a Parenting Plan will cover:
Part B: Resources
Click here for a downloadable booklet/workbook that provides much more specific information and guidance.