Raising a child together is one of the most intense and intimate things two people can share. Unfortunately for those going through a divorce, they will have to share that hard work with someone with whom they may have a damaged relationship.
Moving forward as co-parents who share custody of their children requires compromise and sacrifice on the part of both parents. However, as long as you get on the same page, it is very possible for you and your ex to work cooperatively to be the best parents you both can be.
Commit the most important issues to writing
For most people, the term “parenting plan” conjures thoughts of a complex custody agreement with terms regarding the sharing of holidays and how to split up summer vacation fairly. While including custody arrangements in a parenting plan is important, so too is the inclusion of guidance on important parenting issues.
What kind of grades do you expect your child to achieve? How much socialization is reasonable? Do you intend to limit their screen time? Do they have a curfew? These considerations and more are all issues on which children will test and push their parents. You and your ex need to try to get on the same page so that you can have the same expectations for your children.
When you agree on those expectations, uniform enforcement is much easier, and it will be harder for the children to manipulate you into concessions. If you can’t agree on some of these important terms, find compromises that work for everyone and make sure that they are part of your written parenting plan.