A carefully prepared parenting plan can help reduce the likelihood of conflict between parents in New York after divorce. While parents going through an amicable divorce may not need this level of detail in their parenting plan, others may find that dealing with some or all of these issues up front makes coparenting go more smoothly.

For example, a parent in one case became angry when the other parent would not send their child for visitation when the child was sick in bed, and they called the police. While this is an extreme example, if parents are experiencing a great deal of conflict, they may want to address what will happen if it is time for a changeover and the child is ill.

Even in low-conflict situations, parents may want to make a plan for how the child will spend holidays so that there are no misunderstandings. They may also want to consider how to handle it if one family’s events, such as weddings or funerals, fall during the other parent’s time.

Parents may fight over clothes or other possessions that they buy children and that are subsequently left at the other parent’s house. This can be addressed in the parenting plan along with when children can meet new partners, what household rules to establish and how to handle extracurricular activities. Parents may also want first right of childcare refusal.

While negotiating these terms can be difficult in high-conflict situations, parents should focus on the best interests of the child. Even if they do not agree with one another’s parenting decisions, courts and other experts generally believe that children do best when they are able to spend time with both parents. An exception may be if the child is unsafe with the other parent. If the other parent has been abusive, only supervised visitation may be allowed.