When Texas parents get a divorce, they might think that they can successfully co-parent as long as they hide their conflict from their children. However, children may still pick up on tension between their parents. A better approach may be for parents to write a co-parenting plan that addresses many of the areas where conflict could arise.
Making a schedule
The schedule for child custody and visitation is one part of the co-parenting plan. While it is not always possible for parents to negotiate this outside of court, doing so allows parents to create a plan that best suits them and their family. A consistent schedule can give children a better sense of stability after the divorce.
Agreeing on rules
Having a custody and visitation schedule in the co-parenting plan is a bare minimum, but parents may want to include other types of agreements in the plan as well. This can include anything that parents feel strongly about, such as homework, screen time, when children will meet new partners, what rules about driving will be and more. Parents need to strike a balance in the co-parenting plan between making sure that expectations are consistent and trying to micromanage one another’s parenting. They may need to accept that they each have different parenting styles.
Parents may also want to address what they will do if there is a conflict they cannot resolve. For example, they may agree to go to mediation.
There are situations in which parents might need to go to court to resolve a co-parenting issue. For example, the custody plan might need a major modification, one parent may be relocating, or one parent might be concerned about the child’s safety with the other parent. However, in general, it is better if parents try to resolve smaller issues within the framework of the parenting plan. Their attorneys may help them come to an agreement that works for the whole family.