Three tips for creating a co-parenting plan that works for your family

For many parents who are undergoing divorce, finding a way to protect and provide stability for their children. The resultant stress can lead parents adrift. The good news? Even parents who do not get along can give their child positive, loving and supportive places to grow. And, they can do this together.

The key to co-parenting is clear expectations and a reliable co-parenting plan. When everyone is on the same page about their children, even if they do not agree on anything else, then a child can have a positive childhood experience.

Be clear about your priorities

Divorce can impact children in many ways, including shifting family structures, significantly reducing time with their parents and creating significant—if often temporary—financial upheaval. This can have a multitude of effects on their educational success, physical well-being and emotional health.

If you can decide early what your educational goals are, how much time the child should have with each parent and how to implement change, you and your ex can create a structure for change. This can ease the tension and create a stable experience for your child.

Be flexible when possible

Life is always changing. A job change, a new after school activity or a remarriage can mean that your current co-parenting plan has to change. Remember that you can build in flexibility and account for some changes in advance, but that your schedule will change as your child ages.

Focus on your child’s well-being

Children are incredibly resilient and can successfully navigate divorce if given the tools and support they need. Remember that your priority is your child’s health and safety, not winning arguments with your ex. If you make your child’s needs the first and most important aspect of your custody agreements, your child can grow up into the successful adult you want them to become.