What is a co-parenting plan?

By 13th May 2022 Blog

A co-parenting plan is a bespoke plan negotiated and agreed by separated parents – it includes all the detail both parents consider relevant to parenting their child going forward, it assists parents to deal with all of the practical issues associated with parenting apart.

Through using the family mediation process, separated parents can negotiate a co-parenting plan with the help of a trained, impartial mediator. A family mediator seeks to empower parents to think about current and future arrangements and enable them both to agree a co-parenting plan that places their children’s needs and rights at the center.

The plan can provide a structure to assist with schedules,  stating  clearly how  your children can share time with both of you, how to manage your responsibilities and how to share decision making.

A co-parenting plan may cover (please note, this is not an exhaustive list):

  • How your children may move between both of you with ease (contact and residency)
  • How to manage responsibilities and share decision making – including day to day responsibilities and key decisions about your children, such as childcare, education and healthcare.
  • How to deal with other arrangements – such as school arrangements, holidays, visiting grandparents and wider family, birthdays and afterschool activities.

How is a co-parenting plan developed?

Separated and divorcing couples can find it difficult to agree on important arrangements surrounding their children. Family mediation is a future-focused process, it does not deal with the past or place blame. Family Mediation is a process whereby separated parents can communicate in a neutral space, facilitated by a trained, impartial mediator. It is through the mediation process that parents negotiate and agree a co-parenting plan.

Benefits of a co-parenting plan

  1. Both parents have agreed the plan together with the decision making in their hands, without the need to go to court.
  2. It clarifies the role of everyone involved and what is expected of them going forward.
  3. It is a written document and as such provides a useful reference for agreed arrangements.
  4. It is practical and sets out each of the agreements in detail  concerning the children.
  5. It is child centered – meaning that all of the agreed arrangements are made in the best interests of the child/ren.

Find out more:

If you would like to listen to other parents’ experiences of using family mediation, you can view our youtube playlist here.

If you are interested in the process of mediation and how to access the service read more here.

Get in touch via our helpline: 028 9024 3265