In Part 1 of this video series, Divorce Mediator, Barry Davis describes the basic aspects of a good parenting plan for divorce so parents can provide structure and support for their children during and after the divorce process and minimize the negative impact on children.

A parenting plan is what the courts refer to as custody. I prefer to put the emphasis on good parenting and avoid the provocative term, custody, which might denote ownership in order to achieve a good parenting plan for divorce.

Two ways in which divorce mediation helps parents build a specific, customized parenting plan are:

First, a proactive and comprehensive plan should provide clarity to parents and children and reduce future friction between parents. As a divorce mediator, I address issues that may have not come up yet so I can provide options and facilitate the conversation in order to come up with a positive agreement. A comprehensive parenting plan also considers the diversity and significance of various parenting issues.

Second, your parenting plan should balance structure and flexibility, so parents and children know what to expect, but can also be flexible when appropriate, where any specific aspect of the parenting plan may be changed as long as both parents agree ahead of time.