You’re going to part ways with your spouse, but you still need to think about the kids. Working together with your ex-to-be may not sit at the top of your list, but it could make a world of difference to your children.

If you can’t work well with your partner, it could be your children that pay the price. Active cooperation and communication between divorced parents could be essential for the healthy development of your child. And a great way to start working together is to create a parenting agreement for constructive coparenting.

Sharing terms

A court will determine what is in the best interest of the child, but if you present an outline made with the other parent, the court could agree to enforce the terms. There’s an exhaustive list of things you’ll need to figure out on your way to your new partnership:

  • Custody: The overall structure of your custody arrangement is crucial going forward. Physical custody, or where your children will mainly reside, and legal custody, which concerns making major life decisions.
  • Time schedules: You will have to determine how your children spend their time within the custody agreement. Time with both you and their other parent, how they’ll spend holidays and even down to their daily routine. These details can help establish stability and make sure you have a say in how your kids spend their time when you’re not around.
  • Trade schedules: A well-orchestrated trade can mean all the difference between you and your ex getting along. Laying out plans for a smooth swap, or how to change things when need be can be important for your day-to-day dealings.
  • Financial responsibilities: You will need to detail how expenses are going to be covered. From school supplies to doctor visits to claiming your children on your taxes, you’ll need to nail down all the gritty details. This will also include any child support that you need to establish.
  • Communication: It’s best not to leave anything in the wind, especially how you will communicate with your ex regarding your children. From smalls things like changing vacation schedules to big deals like adjusting your overall parenting plan, it’s helpful to establish a system for communicating important details back and forth.

Make sure you don’t leave any grey areas when creating your agreement and leave avenues for change and communication to keep problems from bubbling up. Just because you and your former partner have decided marriage isn’t your best option going forward doesn’t mean you have to stop working together to raise your children.

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