One of the most important things that parents who are divorcing have to do is come up with a parenting plan that puts the kids first. This isn’t always easy, partly because of the emotions that are so raw during the divorce. You have to be able to put those aside so that you can think clearly about what your children need right now. 

As you work on the terms of the parenting plan, remember that you need to set it up based on what they need now. You can’t think too far into the future because it’s possible to modify the plan as time progresses. 

You and your ex might not have the same ideas about how to set up the parenting plan. Being able to work together to negotiate the terms is important. This can set the tone for your parenting relationship, so try to keep things calm and respectful. You may find that your ex has some ideas that truly do put your child’s needs first, and your ex might discover the same thing about you. This isn’t the time to battle over who can do more for the child. Instead, just think about what solutions are viable. 

It’s a good idea to set up the communication standards now. You can include these in the parenting plan. They should include requirements for respectful exchanges. It’s also a good idea to put in statements that forbid either parent from speaking ill of the other parent to anyone, including the children. Additionally, consider adding in one that says that parents will always communicate directly and never have the children act as messengers. 

Before you sign the parenting plan, be sure that everything in it is written to reflect what you agreed to. You don’t want to have to address issues right away and having a solid plan makes it easier for you and your children to move forward.