When filing for divorce in a Michigan court, the relationship between spouses who have children together might be contentious. Then again, some spouses remain amicable and simply want to develop a fair co-parenting plan, finalize a settlement and move on in life. Agreeing to keep the children’s best interests at the forefront is the first step toward developing a workable child custody agreement.

Children take their emotional cues from their parents. If they witness parents working together as a team for their sake, they may be better able to cope with the changes divorce has brought to their lives. Writing out clear terms of agreement is a first logical step to take to devise a co-parenting plan. When a plan is in writing, each person can make a copy and keep it on hand to refer to if complications arise.

It is easier to avoid disputes if parents incorporate details about special occasions in their co-parenting plan. Whether trading off when having parenting time with the kids for their birthdays or agreeing to spend holidays and special events together for the kids’ sake, parents are free to personalize their own plan after determining what is best for their children. It is also a good idea to include instructions in a co-parenting agreement if someone other than the parents is going to have permission to pick up or drop off the kids from school, sporting events or elsewhere.

It’s often possible to negotiate a child custody and co-parenting plan agreement in a peaceful manner. In a perfect world, co-parents would never disagree or encounter challenges as they help their kids adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle. In reality, a disagreement can quickly turn into a serious legal problem, which is why many Michigan parents stay in close contact with experienced family law attorneys, in case they obstacles arise that they are unable to resolve.