When you’re going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, the state favors granting joint custody over the children so that both parents have a say. To limit how many arguments you go through, it’s a good idea to write a sound co-parenting plan that both of you can refer to. Verbal agreements are easy to forget or to twist around.
Parental conflict hurts children
Children are sensitive to conflict and can sense when their parents aren’t getting along. They can even pick up on subtle body language cues. Having a written co-parenting plan helps keep interactions between you and your former spouse peaceful because both of you know what to expect and when to expect it, such as when the child stays with one parent and when they stay with the other.
Children need consistency
Make sure that you both also come to an agreement on how to discipline the child. Consistency is important for a child’s well-being. You can seek the services of a family lawyer for help on negotiating a child custody co-parenting plan that makes both you and your former spouse happy. You can file this document as part of your Marriage Settlement Agreement in court.
Unforeseen disagreements may occur
Despite your best intentions, you may have a disagreement that you didn’t anticipate. Thus, you and your former spouse should think about how you want to handle future disagreements relating to your child and clearly define the resolution process in your co-parenting plan. You may decide that either parent has the right to bring in a professional mediator to help you solve the problem. The initiating parent pays for the first meeting, and the other can pay for the next if a further one is needed.
Having a co-parenting plan is necessary when you divorce. If you don’t write one, the judge will do so for you. The judge doesn’t know all the details of your life, so it’s best to write your own plan with your former spouse even if things have been tense between the two of you. Bringing in a professional mediator is important if you two just can’t get along.