While a deteriorating relationship leads to divorce, if you and your spouse have children, you may choose to work together to raise your kids.
After divorce, keeping the children your highest priority can be more successful with a well-executed co-parenting plan.
Agree to have healthy communication
Raising children in different households requires good communication to establish a stable and consistent home life. Make an agreement with your spouse to communicate openly about your kids. You must inform each other of school activities, doctor appointments, illnesses, issues at school and different situations that impact your children’s lives. Direct communication through text, phone calls, email, apps, and meeting face-to-face is essential. Do not have your children pass along information on your behalf.
Establish a routine from the beginning
Consistency is vital for the well-being of your children. Work with your spouse to create a routine outlining how to allocate parenting time. Make decisions about the following:
- holidays and school breaks
- extracurricular activities
- medical appointments
- how to handle exchanges
- managing unexpected changes in the schedule
Revise the plan as needed
As children grow and families change, your plan might need changing, too. Consider meeting once a year to discuss your current co-parenting plan and any necessary modification. As young children become teens, change schools, or either parent enters into a new marriage, it may be time to evaluate and revise your co-parenting plan.
While you and your spouse are no longer married, continuing an amicable relationship for the children’s health begins with a well-thought-out co-parenting plan.