If you and your spouse share children, collaborative divorce can be particularly beneficial. You can keep your kids out of court and also maintain careful control over the details of your parenting plan. Collaborating with your ex can help you work through many potential custody issues and create a parenting plan that reflects your family’s unique needs and values.
How to divide your parenting timeIs it feasible given your careers to evenly split custody? Are there holidays or special events that would be more meaningful to one parent than the other? Could you agree to share parenting time on birthdays and other special events for the sake of your children?
When you work together face-to-face to iron out specific terms for sharing custody, you create a plan that really supports what is best for the children. Additionally, cooperating now will make it easier for you to uphold those agreements in the future.
How to manage discipline across two householdsYou may have not fully agreed on discipline issues when you lived together. Now that your kids will move back and forth between your houses, the potential for disagreements is even bigger.
Cooperating now can make it easier for you to create a written agreement about the rules and expectations for your children. When you have an agreement in place, you can more easily support one another with consistent enforcement of those expectations.
How you handle future changesSome couples don’t plan for the inevitable changes that follow divorce. Your children will continue growing and moving up in school. Each year will likely involve more activities and homework as they get closer to adulthood.
You may need to agree now on how you will approach changes and revisions to your plan when they become necessary. For example, you might agree that formal modification isn’t necessary, provided that you have a written record of the changes. You could also agree to cooperate and make the changes formal through an uncontested modification request.
Thinking carefully about your children’s needs will help you set the specific priorities for your upcoming collaborative divorce.