Structuring a Co-Parenting Schedule

One of the hardest things to navigate in a divorce is determining how you will fairly and effectively co-parent your children.  What is always most important is finding a schedule and plan that is best for your children, first and foremost. Structuring a co-parenting schedule requires a fair amount of negotiation and with heightened emotions during a divorce, it is ideal to work with an impartial mediator who can help you respectfully negotiate while protecting everyone’s best interests.

A well-structured, clearly communicated co-parenting schedule is important not just for you but for your children because it gives them a safe feeling of routine and predictability. A good co-parenting schedule will not only address custody and the day-to-day schedule but things like holidays, vacations, birthdays, special occasions, school, recreational or after-school activities, medical care, and more.  It is also important to outline how disputes will be handled and resolved which minimizes future stress and confusion.

It is important to recognize that life changes, sometimes unpredictably, and by anticipating that, you can create some flexibility and understanding for when those times arise so that your children do not suffer as a result.  The specifics of your co-parenting schedule will vary from other people’s depending on your unique needs, your spouse’s needs, and your children’s needs.  In addition to scheduling, your co-parenting agreement should address things like how your children will be raised, what rules and guidelines do you agree to share cooperatively in the raising of your children?  If you need assistance determining how to best structure your co-parenting schedule, consult an experienced divorce mediator.

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