Not many forces of nature are as strong as the love between a parent and their child. No matter the nature of your relationship with the other parent, you will always want the very best for your child. Raising a child together after the divorce, however, comes with its share of challenges. And this is where an effective co-parenting plan comes in.
A co-parenting plan is a court-sanctioned order that outlines how parents will raise the child and share parenting time and responsibilities after the divorce. Done right, a parenting plan should address where the child will live, how decisions affecting the child will be made, how future parenting disputes will be addressed as well as any other important stipulation on how you and your ex will co-parent your child. So what makes a good parenting plan?
Here are two tips that can help you draft a co-parenting plan that will work for everyone.
Respect your co-parent’s authority
The divorce might have been acrimonious. However, you must never use this as an excuse to undermine your ex or badmouth them before your child. Rather, treat your ex with respect, especially when the child is present. Undermining your ex in front of your child can lead to two serious problems:
- Your child will follow in your footsteps and disrespect their authority too
- Your actions could amount to parental alienation, and this can cause problems for your custody case
Even if you do not agree with some of your ex’s decisions (granted their do not endanger the child), it is best to present a united front when your child is around.
Put your child’s best interests first
The court will only approve your co-parenting plan if it meets the best interests of the child standard. Thus, while drafting the co-parenting plan, it is important that you make the child’s best interests the center of focus. This is where thorough communication and compromise comes in.
Working as a team to raise your child can be a challenge, especially if the marriage didn’t end on the best of terms. Find out how you can create a co-parenting plan that will work for everyone.