Unfortunately, the co-parenting effort does not come with an instruction manual. Each parenting plan, like the divorce associated with it, is unique. 

Here are four tips to help you and your partner create a workable plan and lay the foundation for successful co-parenting going forward. 

Plan the schedule

How will you and the other parent physically care for your children? A major section of your parenting plan should address the parenting schedule. The court will expect your children to spend ample time with each of you. They must feel they have a secure and loving relationship with both parents. 

Include events

In addition to working out a daily schedule, remember to include events that will be a part of the life of your child: birthdays, holidays, summer vacation time. You can add extracurricular activities and appointments outside of school once you know when they are to occur. 

Prepare for decision-making

You and the other parent must decide how you will handle making decisions on important matters that affect your children. The court will want to know that both parents are actively involved in raising their children and making decisions about subjects such as education, medical care and religious upbringing. 

Communicate with each other

Communication between parents and between the parents and their children is key to creating and maintaining a successful parenting plan. If you opt for mediation instead of litigation as a divorce option, you will find that communication is at the heart of the process, and the same holds true for co-parenting. Maintaining open lines of communication is essential in a plan that will serve as a road map for you to follow when making your way forward as co-parents.