The Plan for Parents 19 Dec 2011  1 Comment

The Plan for Parents

During and after the dissolution of the marriage, a written parenting plan, is the only tangible structure parents can fall back on, to get through a challenging time. The plan provides parents with a legal framework, that outlines who will do what, and when it will happen. Household arrangements need to be worked out by parents around either familiar or unfamiliar routines.The parenting plan should also cover custody schedules, finances, holidays, medical and school needs and decision making by the custodial and non-custodial parent. Parents who do not establish consistent rules and guidelines in both households, can expect problematic situations in the future.

Parents who can work out a flexible routine that is fair, realistic and practical, can hope for a more rewarding experience in child rearing. Visitation times should be honored and each parent should be respectful of that time. Putting information in written form, instead of discussing it verbally, can be beneficial in trying to limit possible conflict and arguments. School correspondence should go to both parents and attending school events like sports or teacher meetings together is probably ill advised.

Effective co-parenting is difficult when there is financial uncertainty. Realistic spending should be dictated by the financial and alimony agreement. Day to day decisions should be directed to the household in which the child is residing, at the moment. The parent present, during a medical emergency should be authorized to sign legal consents for both parents, in case emergency intervention is justified. Each parent should address how they want to set up an information network, where school and medical data is delivered to them.

Custody arrangements through a court, can include plans for holidays. It is important to be flexible, understanding and fair with holiday scheduling. Holidays will be a test for trying to contain feelings and emotions. If your child is going to be with the other parent during a special holiday, try to make plans for yourself and create your own good time.

About the Author

Mel Kaufman

Mel Kaufman has been in the healthcare field for over thirty years, as a clinician, administrator and consultant in mental health. The article was written as an educational reference, regarding divorce.

MIchelle  3 Mar 2010

What a life-saver the co-parenting manager has been. It is scary enough to go through a divorce but with kids involved, it is much more stressful. This tool has been very successful dealing with my ex and letting him know what is needed and when. I think he likes dealing with the Co-parenting Manager more than me since he doesn’t feel like I am telling him what to do. He can see if for himself and it has become a more positive environment.


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