Bringing up children outside of a married relationship can be challenging, particularly if your co-parent has a problem with how you are handling a parenting issue. This is why some unmarried and divorced parents create parenting plans to govern how they rear their offspring.
If you have concerns that disagreements with a co-parent could drag out, Psychology Today explains how parents may craft a parenting plan to prevent or resolve discord.
Establish rules for issues
A good way to resolve disputes is to establish rules and boundaries in advance for any issue you and your co-parent may have to deal with. General examples include the following:
- Rules for home discipline
- Communication rules between parents
- School and extracurricular activity rules
- Naming a parent to talk with doctors and schools
- How to plan vacations, birthday parties and summer trips
Your family may have other needs that most other families do not deal with. Your parenting plan can establish rules for these matters as well.
Handling future disagreements
It is still probably inevitable that you and your co-parent will not agree on something. A good parenting plan should describe how to resolve a dispute if you and your co-parent cannot come to a solution through discussion.
One way is to allow either parent to ask for a mediator or another neutral professional to help you and your co-parent work out a problem, with a provision for the requesting parent to pay for the initial meeting. Some parents also include an arbitration provision. These resolution methods should increase the odds that you can resolve a disagreement in a timely manner.