Sponsored content: What is co-parenting?
Simply put, this is when two parents (often those who have separated) have an agreed plan so that they can consistently care for their child/children. When things are stable, and everyone is happy a parenting plan tends to be an agreement that goes in a drawer and is rarely consulted. When times get tough a clear parenting plan can be a real help and resolve minor disputes quickly and provide clear guidance.
When children are born mother’s automatically have parental responsibility (PR). Father’s share PR either by being married to their child’s mother, being named on their child’s birth certificate or having PR confirmed by a court. The aim of a parenting plan is to help everyone involved know what is expected of them;
- it acts as a valuable reference to go back to; and
- it sets out practical decisions about the children, such as living arrangements, education and health care.
- If you do go to court in the future, it is likely that judges will expect you to have started a Parenting Plan.
When parents separate there is often lots of tension and stress. You might think you are doing a good job of protecting your child from those disputes but they will sense the tension in the home and it is important to avoid your child feeling they are caught in the middle. With many of us working from home and trying to juggle day to day life with family responsibilities it is important that you really listen to what your child is telling you. Turn off the tv, put the smart phone to one side and take time. Your child will most likely have a clear idea of what they want if both parents were to live separately.
What if you cannot negotiate a parenting plan on your own?
- Get help from a family solicitor who is a Resolution member. (There are several across the Bury St Edmunds area).
- Mediate and obtain help from a third party to enable you to reach an agreement.
- Apply to court – but remember when a Judge makes a decision there is far less flexibility than if you have been involved in those discussions.
For most parents who are thinking about living separately, or have recently done so, they are able to put the needs of their children at the forefront of their decision making. Sometimes parents need a little help to resolve those disputes. If you would like some help with resolving discussions about your children, or any other family law related issued, please contact Elisabeth Sneade at Rudlings Wakelam or the rest of the team for help.