Adjusting to your new family set up post-separation can be challenging. You may not get it right first time, and things will change with time, so what worked, in the beginning, may not be working for you now. All of this is normal. The key thing to remember when it comes to co-parenting after a divorce/separation is that your family is unique and nobody’s perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on the bigger the picture; what can you realistically control and how can you create an environment where your kids can thrive?
The grid below lists some suggestions on co-parenting arrangements or ‘care patterns’ and are just that, suggestions. The key considerations to keep in mind are:
If not, seek external support to help you to communicate. There’s so much support out there from experts and co-parents who have ‘been there and done that’. Book a co-parenting session here.
An essential document to sort out, that will think through how things will work. It’s not a legal document, but it is helpful to have written arrangements recorded somewhere for peace of mind on both sides. Download amicable’s Parenting Plan here.
To reduce stress, you need to make sure that the arrangements make logistical and financial sense. For example; do you live close enough apart to make the arrangements work?
Once you’re agreed on how things will work, how will you manage diaries and ad-hoc arrangements?
The ‘suitable for’ column is just a guide based on the cognitive and emotional development of the average child. The suitability of a care pattern will depend a great deal on what your child has been used to, whether there has been a primary carer or care has been shared between parents or other caregivers and of course your child or children’s personality. You may also need to consider the impact of siblings.