You’ve decided to get divorced, but that does not mean you want a legal battle with your ex, much less when a child is involved. However, by negotiating amicably, you can reach common ground about your child without needing a judge to make the decisions for you. You can set different terms for your child’s parenting plan during the negotiations, and you can ask for anything as long as it benefits your child.
Open to negotiation
You may not stand the sight of your ex at the moment, but you’ll need to coordinate with them for your child’s upbringing. To do this, the courts advise divorcing parents to create a parenting plan. If you can’t agree on anything with your ex, the court may have to make the plan for you, but you probably don’t want someone else to determine matters about your child’s life. Instead, you can try to negotiate any of the following terms in your child’s parenting plan:
- Your child’s schedule: you can decide when you get to see your child, at what time and day and which holidays, birthdays or vacations you’ll be able to spend with them.
- Your child’s residence: you and your ex may have to decide with whom the child will live most of the time and set the living arrangements
- Your child’s education and religious involvement: you can determine where you want your child to study and if you want your child to practice a religion, and if so, in which circumstances, how and when.
- Healthcare decisions: you and your ex will have to determine if both of you, or only one of you, will make decisions about the child’s diet and medical treatment if they ever need it.
- Discipline: Every parent has a different belief system, so you must talk with your ex about how both of you must correct your child when they make a mistake. By establishing a discipline method, you’ll be more consistent and effective with your efforts.
- How the other parent can contact the child: You can include in the plan how you can keep in touch with your child while they are spending time with your ex. Can you call them? Text them? Stop by to say hello?
- How you should communicate about issues with the agreement: sometimes you’ll find it difficult to stick up with the plan. That is why you must set some conditions as to how and when a parent should notify the other about sudden changes of plans.
You may find it challenging to find common ground with your ex. Still, it is possible to do so with flexibility and determination. Keep in mind that the plan is for benefit of the child, so if there is something you want, back it up with an argument that proves why your wishes would be in your child’s best interests.
Your rights as a parent
It may be beneficial for you to create a parenting plan to avoid future disputes with your ex. Besides, a parenting plan is an enforceable document that you and your ex must abide by if you don’t want to suffer negative consequences. Remember that you have the right to negotiate different aspects of the plan, but to end up with a satisfying result, you must prove that what you want will make your child happier or healthier.