You’ve gone through most of your divorce, but one thing you’re having trouble putting together is your parenting plan. You and your spouse have different religions, different parenting styles, different preferences for whom your child can be around and so much more. In fact, there are more differences in your parenting preferences than similarities.
It’s complicated to build a parenting plan with another person who has a completely different parenting goal. However, you and your spouse will find that it’s much easier to work together after your divorce if you can come to an agreement on how to raise your child.
How can you start to build a parenting plan if you can’t agree?
The best thing to do is to start looking into what you can agree on. Both of you should sit down and write out how you’d like to parent your child and the preferences you have. Compare notes. See if there is anything, no matter how small, that you can agree on. If there is something the other parent wants to do that you think is okay and won’t harm your child, then you may want to negotiate to see if there is a way to include that into your parenting plan on their time and not yours.
The goal should be to bring structure to your child’s life and to have similar rules and expectations in both homes. You should talk about what you expect in your child’s routine, like what time they have to come home each night or what kinds of grades you expect at school. Discuss extracurricular activities and religious activities, too. If you have different religions, you may be able to decide by allowing your child to choose or by permitting your child to participate in both religions without committing to either until they’re old enough to decide on their own.
A parenting plan is typically comprehensive, so you need to address everything from what you’ll do when your child is in trouble to how you expect to be notified when they’re sick or injured. If you both can’t sit down and work through this without conflict, then consider having your attorneys present or working with a mediator. Opening up lines of communication is essential when you’re creating a parenting plan, and you will need to continue talking to one another in the future to raise your child together.