Creating a Co-Parenting Plan

Co-Parenting Plan

One of the biggest challenges in a divorce is the determination of how time with the child (or children, as the case may be) will be split between the parents. A written document outlining how the parents will raise the child after divorce (and, sometimes, after separation), is called a co-parenting plan, visitation, or simply parenting time. Creating a co-parenting plan that will work well for everyone involved is important.


Generally speaking, it is presumed that a child will benefit from having a relationship with both parents, and that each parent should encourage and facilitate that relationship with the other parent. Sounds pretty good, right?

But, in a divorce, not everyone has those warm fuzzy feelings. It can take a lot to give up time with your child, or agree to certain ways that your child’s upbringing might change. It is best to have an honest conversation with your Findling Law lawyer when it comes time to talk about creating a co-parenting plan. Our goal for you is to help you get through all of this and find happiness again without compromising your principles.

Structure and Flexibility

There are two things to remember when creating a co-parenting plan:

  1.       The plan will have a definite structure, but it should also have an element of flexibility.
  1.       The structure can and will vary based on whether there is shared or supervised parenting.

Structure is important because it helps everyone know where the child will be and when. It helps parents plan around their parenting time, especially if their work schedules fall outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule. Flexibility is important because sometimes things can come up that may interfere with the plan or accommodations need to be made, such as when the child’s needs change as they grow and mature.

 Creating a Co-Parenting Plan

A co-parenting plan begins with outlining when each parent will have physical custody of the child, which may have been outlined by the court. In every case where it is possible, coming to terms to with what has to happen for the best interests of the child is absolutely critical for both spouses.

Once the time is split between the parents, the parents need to also consider many of the details of the child’s life that might need to be spelled out. What could this entail? Consider details that might help to keep structure in a child’s life or that might help the child feel normalcy regardless of which parent they are with. For example, maintaining a certain bedtime on school nights might make this list, as might deciding when homework will be completed or what extra-curricular activities stay on the child’s schedule and how the child will get to them. Other issues might include whether the child will share a bedroom or how parents will communicate with one another if they are running late to pick up or drop off the child or there needs to be a deviation from the co-parenting plan.

About Findling Law:

I have been in practice for almost 20 years and practice exclusively in divorce and family law.  My practice includes several attorneys who share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their life, without compromising principles.  We have extensive experience in high socio-economic, high profile and high conflict cases which has nurtured a skill set applicable to all divorce and family law cases regardless of socio-economic status.  We recognize that it is the application of the law that is most important aspect of practice.  That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .


Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free:   (877-YOUR FIRM)

After hours emergency?:  +1 (707) 968-7347

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By:  Daniel Findling

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