In the wake of a separation and divorce, finding ways to maintain civility and communication for the sake of the children can be challenging. When you begin to draft your parenting plan, one thing you should prioritize is the communication guidelines.
When you define the expectations for communication, you eliminate confusion and assumptions.
How should you communicate changes?
Even the best-organized plans face changes sometimes, whether your child’s school schedule is changing or something has come up. Both parents should know the expectations for communication when either of you needs to change the schedule.
Define the means of communication for requesting a change, including in-person, over the phone or in writing by email or text. Set a timeline for that communication to happen as well as a timeline for the response or confirmation of the change from the other parent.
Are the parents permitted to contact each other?
In situations where communication is not particularly civil, you might include a clause in the parenting plan that prohibits direct contact between the two of you. In other cases, you can define how and when you each permit that type of contact.
Are the parents permitted to contact the children?
Sometimes, one parent monopolizes the child’s attention during their time with the other parent. Restrictions on the communication between parent and child resolve this in most cases. In other situations, parents encourage open communication to help strengthen relationships.
Clear details about the expectations surrounding communication avenues, timing and allowance eliminate uncertainty for both parents as well as your child.