Understanding child custody and how to best co-parent a child after divorce is very difficult. It is however, also the most effective way of reducing the initial trauma your child may experience during a permanent breakup. Quite typically, parents don’t want to engage in child custody disputes, but end up in sticky situations regardless of their good intentions.
In a best-case scenario, a divorced parent has to put whatever hard feelings they have towards their ex aside for the sake of the children. For many, this goal is the most difficult for parents to accomplish. It is not uncommon for parents to struggle on a daily basis to accept child custody and divorce and forge forward without ill feelings toward each other.
To make matters more complicated, the parents must set out to design a parenting plan for their children, in which they will work together to co-parent, during a time in which they are splitting up. It’s easy to see the challenge here. After all, who wants to plan to be involved with the person they are divorcing? However, for the sake of the children, it must be done.
A parenting plan is a plan agreed upon by the parents. It is written down by the parents and most often included in the divorce papers. Therefore, it is filed with the courts and is sometimes reviewed by the legal system. The plan is a manual for the parents to follow as they set out on their separate lives while maintaining a co-parent relationship.
Typically, a parenting plan includes placement schedules, rules for avoiding conflict, living arrangements, custody agreements, and anything else that is pertinent to the situation.
Parents can hire a mediator to put together a parenting plan. For some, however, this can be an expensive option. There are also parenting plan packages and resources available for purchase online. A typical package of parenting plan tips teaches the parent how to create an effective parenting plan with their ex. It covers everything both parties need to know about co-parenting, designing placement schedules, and avoiding conflict when arranging shared custody with one another.
This type of resource is far less expensive than a mediator is, and usually costs between $30 to $50. Compare that to a costly mediator who is far more likely to charge between $100 and $200 an hour. Regardless of cost, investing in a parenting plan guide is a step in the right direction for your children and your relationship with the other parent.
By Ron Lasorsa