Many former couples find co-parenting to be difficult, and if you are among those adjusting to such an arrangement, you may understand why. Because so many families struggle to navigate the transition into co-parenting, the state of Colorado requires that you create and submit a parenting plan that outlines how you plan to raise your child while living in separate homes.
Ideally, you and your ex create the plan together. This is not realistic for all former couples, though, and if you are unable to create one with your ex, you may each create and submit one of your own. If you opt for this route, though, the court may pick one of your plans or the other, or it may institute an entirely new one.
So, if you have a chance to work together on your plan, it may give you more control over its contents. What matters do you have to address in the plan?
Parenting plan contents
The Colorado Judicial Branch has a template available for you to use when creating your parenting plan. The document has two main sections, one of which concerns the allocation of parental responsibilities with regard to decision-making, and one of which concerns the allocation of parental responsibilities with regard to actual parenting time.
The decision-making section should outline who has authority when it comes to schooling, health care, religious observances and extracurricular activities. You have the option of giving decision-making power for each to one parent, the other, both or a third party. You may also use this section to address areas of relevance that do not appear on the state form.
The parenting time section should detail your custodial arrangements and agreements with regard to holidays, summer vacations and so on. You may use this section to outline pickup and drop-off arrangements, plans for communicating with the other parent, potential relocation plans and anything else you or your ex consider relevant.