When parents divorce, their children are usually their foremost concern.
Once you and your spouse have decided to separate, one of your first steps should be creating a parenting plan. This is a critical step in helping you, your spouse and your children navigate the divorce process.
1. A parenting plan can reduce conflict
A parenting plan is not simply an informal agreement between parents. It is a written document that becomes a legal order once both parents and a judge have signed it. Your plan should outline each parent’s everyday duties toward the children, such as transporting them to school, appointments and activities. It should also ensure that both parents have the right to communicate with the children and have a voice in healthcare decisions.
Even in the most amiable divorces, some conflict is inevitable, but by having consistent written guidelines, you can manage your expectations and reduce conflict between you and your co-parent.
2. A parenting plan provides stability and consistency
The last thing parents want is to disrupt their children’s lives, but unfortunately, change is unavoidable with divorce. With a parenting plan in place, you can give your children a predictable schedule and help them feel secure. The sooner you create a parenting plan, the sooner you can begin helping your children transition to a new routine.
3. A parenting plan shows your children you care
By prioritizing your children’s needs, you remind them that both parents love and care about them and are committed to putting them first.
Divorce is difficult for children, but you can help them adjust to their new normal by working with your spouse to create a parenting plan.