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Here’s How coParenter Mediators Make Parenting Plans Easier

Our mediators help co-parents move away from their “wants” and toward their children’s “needs”, creating the best-fit parenting plan.
(2 min 46 sec read)

Hon. Sherrill Ellsworth (RET)
Judge Ellsworth was one of the court's most respected and admired bench officers. She retired from the bench to focus on having a greater impact on today’s families by making our courts more accessible, effective, and efficient.

coParenter Mediators, made up of retired family law judges and professional mediators with clinical graduate degrees, have helped create thousands of parenting plans (also known as custody plans).  They’ve seen everything, and are on call to bring their decades of experience, knowledge and best practices to help you and your co-parent create yours. 

A coParenter Parenting Plan consists of 3 things:

  • Parenting Time Schedule
  • Holiday & Vacation Plan
  • Co-parenting agreements

To get started, your on-demand mediator will need to collect some basic information such as the ages of your children, school location(s), where each parent lives, etc. They’ll also ask you questions about your personal and work schedule as well as your current interest in, and commitment to, co-parenting. Armed with this information, they’ll walk you through some suitable schedules, terms, and expectations to help you formulate a reasonable plan that works for everyone. Chances are, the schedule won’t be perfect for either of you, but your mediator’s job isn’t to help you figure out the perfect schedule. they’re helping you design a program with your child’s best interest in mind.  

It’s often helpful to actually see the schedule on a calendar so once you work out the basic structure, they’ll send you an example of what it will look like. Don’t feel like you have to agree right away. Sit on it for a bit if you have to and ‘Agree’ when you’re ready. Even after you agree, you can always make changes (as long as you’re both ok with them and agree on it), especially as your kids get older and their needs change.

Some of the things your Mediators may help you work into your schedule are:

  • Religious Holidays 
  • National/Civic Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Long Weekends
  • Pick up & Drop Responsibilities
  • Pick up & Drop off times
  • Pick up & Drop locations
  • Right of First Refusal
  • 3rd Party contact
  • Alternative daycare plans
  • Regular and irregular visits
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Holiday and Vacations 
  • Summer, Spring, and Winter breaks

And more… 

Trying to work out a Parenting Plan on your own can be a real challenge.  Your family is in transformation. Many parenting duties in this new relationship are shared duties now. For example, you may have never been the parent to do pick up or drop off to school but, NOW you share that responsibility and just because one of you never picked up the children from school before doesn’t mean it will stay that way moving forward. The good news is you get direct professional assistance from coParenter to make sure that your parenting plan works for you and your family, but most importantly, your kids. Our professionals help co-parents to think outside the box, focus on solutions and fit the reality of both parents’ lives moving parents away from their “wants” and toward their children’s “needs.”

Our Mediators try to help parents come up with their own solutions by asking them to let go of conflict and summarize their desired outcome into a single sentence. Often both parents want the same thing for their children but can not reach an agreement because they are stuck in their small view of the big picture.

If you need to create a new parenting plan or make adjustments to your current parenting plan, one of our mediators is on hand ready to help (select the ‘Mediation’ tab and get started)!

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