Navigating your way through a Missouri divorce takes strength and patience, and rarely does the process prove easy. While learning to live without someone who used to sleep by your side involves some readjusting of your life and priorities, so, too, does learning to live with your children in your own home only part of the time. It is virtually inevitable that you and your former spouse will butt heads from time to time when it comes to co-parenting your shared children. However, you may be able to set guidelines that help you both adjust to your new living arrangements by creating what is known as a parenting plan.

Per Psychology Today, a parenting plan is, at its core, a mutual agreement between you and your child’s other parent that dictates how the two of you plan to handle any number of different scenarios. For example, many separated or divorced parents rely on parenting plans to stipulate when they have their children and how they plan to handle pick-ups and drop-offs. Additionally, many parenting plans also set guidelines as to who gets the children on holidays, birthdays and so on.

You and your former partner can also use a parenting plan to set clear expectations about the future. For example, you may decide to include language about whether living or other arrangements might change, should one parent remarry, or you may, too, set expectations about what should happen if one parent has cause to relocate somewhere down the line. Essentially, anything that you anticipate may cause strife between you and your child’s other parent in the future is something you may want to address in your parenting plan.

This information about what you can accomplish through creating a parenting plan is educational in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.