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Workable parenting plans share several commonalities

Setting up a parenting plan that will give you, the other parent and your children the best possible start to your new lives may take some doing. You will probably spend the bulk of your negotiations attempting to make that happen.

The problem may be in determining what types of provisions will make your parenting plan successful. Other California couples before you have created workable plans, and many of them have certain commonalities. If you can determine what they are, you may use them in your plan as well.

What do good parenting plans have in common?

No two families are alike, so no two parenting plans are alike either. However, many contain similar concepts that make them successful, such as:

  • They all include some structure for the children and parents to follow. Activities such as homework, bedtime and other fail rituals should be maintained between homes in order to provide some sense of security for the children.
  • They all include an agreement not to speak ill of each other in front of the children. Making negative remarks about each other in front of or to the children does no one any good.
  • They all include an agreement regarding parenting style. Both of you agree to parent the children in the same manner, which provides consistency for the children so they don't get confused and neither parent becomes the "bad guy."
  • They all include provisions regarding the necessity and importance of communication. The two of you need to communicate in order to continue raising the children together even though your marital relationship ended.
  • They all include agreements to remain polite, civil and courteous with each other. No one expects you to be friends, especially in the beginning, so this provision provides you with a code of conduct until you are able to get along more easily.
  • They all include agreements to leave their marital baggage at home. In fact, you may consider going through some counseling in order to develop your co-parenting relationship and separate it from your former personal relationship.

Another commonality among successful co-parenting relationships is that each parent makes the most of the time when they don't have the children. It may seem callous at first to enjoy not being with your children, but when you have time to decompress, be with friends and family, and otherwise simply take a break, you may find that you are a better parent. In fact, you may also find that you appreciate the other parent more, which could only enhance your co-parenting relationship.

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