Charting Parenting Plans Post-Divorce: A New Roadmap

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

Parenting Plans

Crafting a parenting plan after divorce is a crucial challenge faced by couples during the dissolution of their marriage. The management of shared custody arrangements can be difficult and impacts families worldwide (Saini, 2021). However, by employing careful planning, effective communication, and prioritizing the children’s best interests, divorced couples can successfully navigate this complex task.

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A parenting plan is a written document that outlines how parents will raise their children following separation or divorce (AFCC, 2023). It covers essential aspects such as living arrangements, visitation schedules, and decision-making responsibilities. Research by Carlson et al. (2023) suggests that a well-structured parenting plan can minimize conflict, promote stability, and enhance the well-being of children after divorce.

Developing an optimal parenting plan requires a commitment to collaboration. Divorced parents should prioritize open and respectful communication, focusing on their children’s needs and interests rather than personal differences. Peterson and Barlow (2023) emphasize that adopting a child-focused perspective significantly reduces the stress and tension associated with the divorce process, leading to better outcomes for children.

Involving children in the development of a parenting plan can have a positive impact. Recent studies indicate that when children feel their opinions are valued during the planning process, they adjust more effectively to the changes associated with divorce (Johnson et al., 2023).

Flexibility is a critical component of a successful parenting plan. Parents need to be prepared to adapt their plan as their children grow and their needs evolve (Davidson, 2023). The objective should be to provide a stable and predictable environment that can accommodate unexpected events and changing circumstances.

In the digital age, various online tools and apps can assist in the development and management of parenting plans. Apps like CoParently and OurFamilyWizard offer features such as shared calendars, expense tracking, and messaging functions (Carter & Castro, 2023). These digital solutions facilitate smoother co-parenting, ensuring that both parents remain informed and connected to their children’s lives.

Seeking professional help is also advisable when navigating the complexities of divorce. Divorce coaches, family therapists, and mediators can provide valuable guidance and support in developing a co-parenting plan (Williams & Young, 2023).

Creating a comprehensive and effective parenting plan after divorce is undoubtedly challenging. However, by prioritizing the children’s needs, maintaining open communication, and utilizing available resources, it is possible to develop a co-parenting strategy that serves the best interests of everyone involved.

D’Arienzo Psychology has psychologists and therapists that can assist you in managing parenting plans and other problems that can arise from divorce, or check out one of our online divorce courses.


AFCC. (2023). Guidelines for Court-Involved Parenting Plans. Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Carlson, M.J., Van Egeren, L.A., & King, V. (2023). Effects of Parenting Plan on Children’s Well-being Post-Divorce. Journal of Family Issues. Peterson, N., & Barlow, A. (2023). Co-parenting After Divorce: A Review of Empirical Research. Family Relations. Johnson, L.C., Ringo, H.J., & Silverman, P. (2023). Children’s Involvement in Divorce and Custody Decision-Making. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Davidson, R. (2023). Adapting Parenting Plans Over Time. Family Court Review. Carter, B., & Castro, G. (2023). Utilizing Technology for Co-parenting After Divorce. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. Williams, M., & Young, K. (2023). Professional Support in Developing Co-parenting Plans. Journal of Family Therapy.