The goal of a parenting plan is ensuring that both parents have equal access to and maintain a relationship with their children. Divorce often leads to conflict, but your parenting plan should focus on the needs of your children, not the disagreements in your relationship.
There are a few key elements to consider as you come to a parenting plan agreement.
Consistency is important
Easing the divorce transition for your children starts with maintaining as much consistency as possible. Consider allowing the primary custodial parent to retain the marital home, or even birdnesting, so that the children maintain their routine.
Communication is key
Establish expectations for communication between the two of you so that, when emergencies arise or something interferes with parenting time, there is a clear process for notification and rescheduling. Text messages can serve as notice if phone calls become contentious, for example.
Change is inevitable
Even the most detailed parenting plans sometimes need adjustment. As children get older and school or extracurricular schedules change, leave an avenue for adjustment of the parenting plan. Remember that your children take priority, so focus on meeting their needs in your custodial schedule and parental access.
Technology closes gaps
Incorporate technology use for communication between you and your children. Allow for video calls during non-custodial time, for example. Consider messaging app access as well so children feel more connected to both parents.
These are important factors to consider with any parenting plan. Remember that parenting plans prioritize the children, so keep their needs in mind and make decisions accordingly.