Unless your family is among the tiny minority of families that have to deal with abuse or other issues impacting the custody determination in their divorce, the chances are very good that you and your ex will share custody indefinitely. 

Creating and sticking to a well-developed parenting plan can be a great way for you and your ex to minimize the conflicts you experience as co-parents after a divorce. However, no matter how flexible and compassionate you are toward one another and no matter how thorough your parenting plan is, you will likely experience some kind of conflict with your ex. 

That is why it makes a lot of sense to address future parental conflicts within your parenting plan and to plan for inevitable disputes.

Having rules for addressing disputes will keep you both calmer

Whether the issue that leads to your disagreement is one parent’s need to reschedule their parenting time in a manner that is inconvenient for the other or a disagreement about what sports your child should participate in, you need to find a way to resolve your disagreement and get back on the same page as co-parents. 

There are many ways for the two of you to address parenting disputes. You might agree to sit down with a trusted third-party, such as the godparent of your child or the neighbor at your former marital home. You might even have a therapist or counselor serve as a mediator to help you resolve disputes. 

In the event that things become heated, having rules in place that require written communication between spouses in times of conflict can prevent either of you from damaging your working relationship by saying unkind things to the other. 

Creating rules ahead of time to address future conflict and to communicate effectively when you are in disagreement with one another will make your co-parenting much more effective regardless of what issues arise in the future.