Adjusting to a newly established co-parenting relationship takes both effort and time. But, there are some effective steps you and your ex may want to explore in order to make the transition easier for all parties involved. When you share custody over your child, you’ll find that establishing a parenting plan provides the opportunity for you to establish guidelines in regards to parenting time as well as decision-making responsibilities.
What elements might you want to include in your parenting plan?
Transportation and Other Custodial Arrangements
In your parenting plan, outline your agreed-upon custody arrangement. Address topics like who will handle dropping your child off to the other parent’s home, and when that will happen. You should also use the parenting plan to dictate who has custody of your child on holidays, birthdays, vacations, school and any other similar scenario.
General Child-Rearing Guidelines
Kids benefit from consistency, so you and your ex should make efforts to maintain as consistent environment and lifestyle for your child in both parents’ homes. Use your parenting plan to create guidelines for bedtimes and screen time, but also for punishments, rewards, allowances and the like.
Communications Between Parent and Child
In some cases the relationship between you and your ex can be acrimonious. You may want to create strict guidelines on how and when your child may contact you when at the other home, and vice-versa. Your child may agree to call the parent they are not staying with every night at a certain time. Conversely, you may agree to only communicate through text message when your child is staying with their other parent.