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When you are facing a divorce, your emotions are understandably raw. Still, there are so many decisions to make, especially if you have children. 

Perhaps you and your spouse are choosing to participate in mediation. Come prepared to develop a parenting plan that will work for everyone concerned. 

About mediation 

Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation. It is a shorter, less expensive process that also empowers a couple to control the outcome of their divorce. The participants work with a trained mediator who will provide guidance as they work to develop a satisfactory settlement agreement. 

The parenting plan 

If you have children, along with other tasks such as dividing your community property, a major focus of mediation will be the formation of a parenting plan. Good preparation is essential. You will want to express your opinions and preferences, so before you enter mediation, organize your thoughts and jot down notes. The welfare of your children and their post-divorce adjustment is a priority and you do not want to forget any important points you want to make. 

Topics to consider 

A parenting plan is not just about a visitation schedule. Here are a few other points to consider: 

  • Transitioning plans between homes 
  • Division of holiday and vacation time 
  • Parental decision-making responsibilities 
  • Communication plan for parents 
  • Communication plan between parents and children 
  • Child-raising approaches regarding discipline, chores, allowance 
  • Responsibilities regarding medical and dental care 
  • Who may obtain school and medical records 

Putting the plan together 

Even though mediation is a less stressful option than litigation in a court setting, it is still a divorce process and therefore an emotional undertaking. When it comes to the parenting plan, you will want to make as clear an agreement as possible, so avoid vague language. Remember to set up a regular schedule for overall plan review and include how you and the other parent will handle any future disagreements concerning your parenting plan.