Learning how to effectively co-parent with your ex can prove difficult at times. However, there are things you and your former partner can do before issues arise that may make your co-parenting relationship a more successful one.

Often, divorcing parties who share children together create co-parenting plans. These are written documents that outline the guidelines they agree to follow when it comes to parenting. Creating a plan can make for a much smoother and easier co-parenting relationship.

Possible elements in a parenting plan

Ultimately, just about anything relating to raising the child you share is fair game, but many well-drafted parenting plans share similar aspects in common. Looking at what others have included in their parenting plans may help you avoid forgetting something important in your own.

A general consensus about parenting

Often, one of the first things a parenting plan addresses is any overwhelming sentiment about how both parents agree to co-parent. For example, co-parents may choose to incorporate language asserting that both of them plan to prioritize the shared child, first and foremost, and that everything they do in the parenting process is about prioritizing the child’s best interests.

An overview of parental responsibilities

Most parenting plans also address each parent’s responsibilities with regard to time-sharing, financial matters, educational and health care considerations and so on. For example, your plan may dictate that both parents agree to share all educational or medical records, and that both parents must confer with one another before making any major decisions regarding school, health care and other important aspects of your child’s life. It may, too, help you avoid fights by outlining your agreed-upon expectations as far as who gets the child on birthdays, holidays and the like.

These are just some of the important elements you may want to include in your co-parenting plan. Please note that there are numerous other matters you can also address when creating yours.