Mediation is about cooperation and that is definitely important when children are involved in a divorce. The beauty about mediation is that you, as parents, get to decide a plan that works best for you and your children. You aren’t stuck with a judgment from the court on how many days each of you are allowed with your children. Instead, you can be as flexible as you want with the decision on how to co-parent your children. Here are 4 top tips to helping you with your co-parenting plan:
- Get your schedules in order. Share a google calendar or find another method to communicate what each of you are doing. If one parent travels more often, can the other be more flexible? If that is too overwhelming to the non-travelingparent, it is okay to have some boundaries set ahead of time [delete comma] to protect yourself from further stress. Having a plan in place also reducesthe stress on your child.
- List your key moments. You may have pick up and drop off from school, daycare, piano lessons, soccer games and a whole lot of other fun activities that you need to coordinate with each other. Making a list and keeping it up to date will help each of you “divide and conquer” the daily routine of your child. One parent might want to make the gymnastics class their special time with their child. Decide together on what is most important for each parent to participate in and what can be shared without conflict.
- Go with the path of least resistance. If you are recently separated or divorced and if you are in the middle of the school year, and you don’t have to switch schools for your child, that would be best. Divorce is a big enough change for your children. Switching schools or houses can add to that stress. Eventually, you might have to make a change like that, but in mediation, you can plan that out.
- Work off your strengths. One parent might work from home and have more availability to do things during the week, whereas the night shift or long hours during the week might keep the other parent from [delete “not”] being available until the weekends. That is okay as long as you both value the roles that each of you have with your child and make time for it.