All divorces are not created equal. Some divorcing Tennessee couples can negotiate terms amicably, while others disagree on virtually everything and endure a great deal of pain and stress before the divorce is granted. Whatever the case, when parents divorce and wish to co-parent, in addition to many other factors, they must also include in their agreement details pertaining to their child(ren) moving forward. A psychotherapist and divorce mediator suggests several factors that divorcing parents should consider but may overlook when working on an agreement. Such considerations are important in order for both parents to establish clear boundaries.

House rules and extra-curricular activities

For one, divorcing parents should decide if they will each have decision-making autonomy in their own homes. Parents may agree to maintain consistency across both homes regarding bedtime, homework schedules, etc., but in many cases, parents will agree to make their own house rules, even if they differ. In either case, they should include these details in the agreement. Divorcing parents are also advised to discuss plans around their children’s extracurricular activities, since these types of events sometimes interfere with parenting time. Parents are smart to agree, in advance of these situations, whether they will always consult each other before signing the child up for activities, whether they will allow each other to attend games, recitals, etc. even if they fall outside that person’s custody time, etc.

Holiday time, family events and new partners

With holiday time approaching, many divorced parents will find it necessary to adjust their custody schedule. Parents are advised to discuss all details around holidays when negotiating their custody agreement, including when the regular custody arrangement resumes post-holiday. Since family events such as funerals and weddings may also sometimes occur during the other parent’s custody time, parents may want to decide how they will handle this type of situation. Finally, co-parents should discuss how they will deal with new relationships, including details around introducing a new partner to the child.

Likely, many Tennessee divorcing parents find some difficulty discussing in advance all the important details regarding custody arrangements. In the end, though, all parents simply want what is best for their children, which necessarily includes minimizing conflict with their co-parent. A detailed parenting plan can go a long way toward making this happen. An experienced family law attorney can also help people navigate all aspects of the divorce process.