Designing a Co-Parenting Plan
SEVERAL STUDIES COMPLETED OVER THE PAST 20-30 YEARS SUGGEST CHILDREN DO BEST WHEN BOTH PARENTS HAVE STRUCTURE AND CONSISTENT INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR CHILDREN’S LIVES.
Each parent has different and valuable contributions to make to the children’s development.
Give attention to the number of transitions and the child’s need for stability. Make every effort to have the child with the same day-care provider.
Parents should help their children maintain positive existing relationships, including extended family of both parents, and routines and activities.
Conversations and cooperation between parents are important in arranging children’s activities.
Consistent rules, expectations, responsibilities and values in both households create a sense of security for children of any age.
Allow the children to bring personal items back and forth between homes, no matter who purchased them.
Parenting plans need to be adjusted over time as each family member as well as the child’s needs, schedules and circumstances change.
One of the most consistent research findings is that children are harmed when they are exposed to conflict between their parents. It is of critical importance that parents do not argue or fight when exchanging the children or on the phone.
Consideration for the well-being of the child is necessary when planning time with the child, specifically, when there are safety issues resulting from:
- domestic violence
- serious physical or mental illness
- chronic neglect
- chemical dependency
- allegations of sexual abuse
- inappropriate adult behavior
- parole limitations of a parent