Communication Provisions in Parenting Plans

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful co-parenting. As parents navigate the complexities of raising children post-separation or divorce, a well-drafted parenting plan can serve as a vital roadmap. This article explores the various types of communication provisions that can be included in a parenting plan to foster effective co-parenting. 

Why Is Communication Important in Co-Parenting?  

The essence of co-parenting lies in the ability of both parents to communicate effectively for the best interest of their child. Good communication not only benefits the child but also reduces potential conflicts between co-parents.  

Healthy communication also aids in:  

  • establishing clear expectations and boundaries,  

  • fostering mutual respect and understanding, and  

  • creating a cooperative environment conducive to the child's overall growth and development. 

Legal Provisions in Parenting Plans 

A parenting plan is a court document that describes how parents will divide parenting time after a divorce or separation as well as how legal custody will be divided. This plan includes details about physical custody, visitation schedules, decision-making rights, and importantly, additional provisions that can help better outline expectations and obligations.  

Parent Communication Provisions Examples 

Communication-related provisions set the groundwork for how co-parents will share information, discuss issues, and resolve disputes related to their child. Here are some examples of the types of communication provisions that can be incorporated into a parenting plan: 

  • Topics of communication. Co-parents may want to include provisions that limit their conversations. For instance, parents may include provisions that require parents not to discuss topics unrelated to their child.  

  • Relevant information. Parents may include provisions that require parents to inform one another within a timely manner of any relevant information, such as homework or project deadlines, changes to regularly scheduled activities, etc.  

  • Communication etiquette. Co-parents can include provisions concerning the tone and etiquette of communications. For instance, some parents may require that all communication remain respectful and is not communicated via their child. Parents may also ask that they not be recorded without their consent and that neither party will badmouth the other.  

  • Response times. Parents can require one another to respond to questions, requests, and other communications within a certain time.  

You may also wish to include communication provisions concerning child-parent communication, such as:  

  • Cell phone communication. You may wish to include terms about texts and call if your children have smartphones to help avoid interfering with each parent’s quality time and help foster each party’s relationship with their child. For instance, parents may set call times or require parents to allow child-requested calls.  

  • Video calls and messages. If you have younger children, you may ask that the parent with custody help them call or message the other party at once per week or at a certain time.  

Talk with Our Child Custody Attorney 

If you are involved in a custody case, Shaw Family Law can help you understand what legal and physical custody are, protect your rights and interests, and draft a parenting plan. The more detailed your parenting plan—the better, and our attorney can help you determine what terms and provisions can help eliminate uncertainties, help you avoid conflict, and best serve you and your family.  

Learn more about how we can help with your family law case by calling (205) 259-7650.