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Working through difficulties to create a parenting plan

Your parenting plan is the blueprint for the custody of your children post-divorce. It is where you turn if you have questions about which parent is responsible for what or which days the child will be with which parent. In most cases, parents work together to devise a plan that is tailored to their children's unique situations.

Having to work closely with your ex may be challenging. After all, you didn't split up because the two of you got along swimmingly. Still, it is important that you try to put your differences aside to work out the details of the parenting plan. Doing this now can set the tone for the future of the parenting relationship.

Think about all the options

When you and your ex are trying to come to an agreement, both adults have to be willing to compromise. You aren't going to get your way all the time. Your ex won't either. Instead, you might need to look at some creative solutions to the issues that plague you.

It might help if you and your ex take a step back from the discussion to calm down and think about what is best for the children. It can be difficult to take yourself out of the situation in these cases, but it is necessary if you are going to make the best decisions for the kids.

Before you give up on the negotiations, try to consider all the options. In most cases, parents working together to come up with an agreement is preferable to the alternative.

When you can't agree

There are cases in which the parents can't get along with each other well or long enough to draft a workable parenting plan. In these cases, the court must step in and make the decisions. This should be considered a last resort because the court doesn't have the intimate knowledge about the children and the situation as a whole.

The court might decide to learn more about the situation by appointing a guardian ad litem. This person represents the child in the case to help determine what is best. When this occurs, the parents might have a very limited say, if any at all, in what is going to be included in the final order.

Throughout the case, you have to make sure that your rights and your child's best interests are being respected. This can sometimes be difficult, but is always necessary.

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