How Divorce Mediators Can Help Couples Arrive At The Best Co-Parenting Schedules

One of the most profound aspects of divorce mediation is developing co-parenting time schedules that put the best interests of the children at the center. 

At the Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, our skilled divorce mediators understand the significance of fostering a positive co-parenting relationship and creating a schedule that supports the well-being of the children. In this blog, we will look at some of the ways our mediators assist couples in arriving at co-parenting time schedules that uphold the best interests of their children, promoting stability, emotional security, and a nurturing environment during and after the divorce.

Child-Centered Approach

Our divorce mediators place the best interests of the children at the forefront of the co-parenting time schedule development process. They encourage both parents to focus on the needs and preferences of the children rather than their individual desires. By adopting a child-centered approach, mediators help parents set aside personal conflicts and prioritize the emotional and developmental needs of their children.

Customized Parenting Plans

Every family is unique, and what works for one may not suit another. Our divorce mediators understand this and work closely with couples to develop customized parenting plans that reflect their children’s specific requirements. These plans take into account the children’s ages, school schedules, extracurricular activities, and any special needs they may have.

Flexibility and Open Communication

Effective co-parenting requires flexibility and open communication between both parents. Our mediators encourage parents to communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully when discussing the co-parenting schedule. Flexibility allows for adjustments to accommodate changes in the children’s lives, ensuring that their needs are met as they grow and develop.

Creating a Sense of Stability

Divorce can be unsettling for children, and maintaining a sense of stability is vital for their emotional well-being. Our divorce mediators assist parents in creating consistent and predictable co-parenting schedules, reducing uncertainty, and promoting a stable environment for the children.

Considering Children’s Input

Depending on their age and maturity, children may have preferences about their co-parenting schedule. Our divorce mediators help ensure that children’s voices are heard and taken into account when developing the schedule. While parents ultimately make decisions, considering children’s input can help them feel valued and respected during the process.

Holiday and Vacation Planning

Holidays and vacations can be sensitive issues in co-parenting. Our divorce mediators guide parents in developing fair and balanced plans for sharing holiday time and accommodating vacation schedules. By doing so, children can enjoy special occasions with both parents and maintain important family traditions.

Long-Distance Co-Parenting Solutions

In cases where one parent resides far from the children, long-distance co-parenting solutions are essential. Our divorce mediators help create visitation schedules that minimize disruptions and maintain strong parent-child bonds, utilizing technology to facilitate regular communication between the children and the non-custodial parent.

Parenting Coordination

Parenting coordination is an effective tool for resolving disputes that may arise after the divorce is finalized. At Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, we can recommend the use of parenting coordinators to assist parents in making decisions related to the co-parenting schedule and resolving conflicts in a child-focused manner.

Review and Modification

As children’s needs change over time, co-parenting schedules may require adjustments. We emphasize the importance of reviewing and modifying the schedule as needed, allowing parents to adapt to new circumstances and ensure that the children’s best interests continue to be upheld.


An Example of a Customized Parenting Plan Facilitated by Our Divorce Mediators

Note: Names are changed in this example to protect identities.

Divorcing Couple: John and Sarah

Background: John and Sarah are parents of two children, Emma (age 8) and Michael (age 6). They are seeking divorce mediation to develop a parenting plan that supports their children’s best interests while ensuring both parents remain actively involved in their lives.

Step 1: Individual Intake Sessions

Our divorce mediator conducts individual intake sessions with both John and Sarah to understand their perspectives, concerns, and priorities. During these sessions, the mediator emphasizes the importance of focusing on the children’s needs and fostering a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

Step 2: Identifying Children’s Needs and Routines

Our mediator meets separately with Emma and Michael to hear their thoughts and preferences regarding custody arrangements. While the children’s input is considered, the final decisions are made by the parents, taking into account their children’s developmental stages, school schedules, extracurricular activities, and any special needs.

Step 3: Shared Custody Schedule

After reviewing all the information gathered, our divorce mediator proposes a shared custody schedule that promotes regular and meaningful contact with both parents. Given the children’s ages, the mediator suggests a 2-2-5-5 schedule, where the children spend two days with one parent, two days with the other parent, followed by five days with the first parent and five days with the second parent. This arrangement provides consistency and minimizes disruption, allowing the children to spend quality time with both parents.

Step 4: Holiday and Vacation Planning

Our divorce mediator works with John and Sarah to develop a fair and balanced holiday and vacation schedule. They agree to alternate major holidays and split holiday periods in a way that allows each parent to spend time with the children during special occasions. For vacations, they decide to have one extended vacation each year, where the children spend an uninterrupted two weeks with each parent.

Step 5: Long-Distance Co-Parenting

Since John’s job requires him to move to a different state for part of the year, the mediator assists in developing a long-distance co-parenting plan. They agree to maintain regular communication through video calls, phone calls, and emails. To ensure consistent contact, they decide to have a standing weekly video call every Sunday night.

Step 6: Decision-Making and Parental Responsibilities

Our mediator facilitates discussions on major decision-making, such as education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. John and Sarah both agree that they will make joint decisions on important matters concerning their children’s welfare, ensuring that neither parent is left out of important parenting decisions.

Step 7: Communication and Conflict Resolution

Our divorce mediator emphasizes the importance of effective communication and conflict resolution. John and Sarah agree to maintain open lines of communication and to handle disagreements away from the children. They decide to engage in co-parenting counseling if they encounter challenges they cannot resolve independently.

Step 8: Review and Modification

The mediator advises John and Sarah to review the parenting plan regularly to assess whether it still meets the children’s needs. They agree to meet every six months to discuss any necessary modifications, especially as the children grow and their routines change.

Conclusion: With the support of our divorce mediators at the Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, John and Sarah have successfully developed a tailored parenting plan that prioritizes their children’s best interests. This plan allows Emma and Michael to maintain strong relationships with both parents, provides stability in their lives, and ensures their well-being during and after the divorce. By working collaboratively and focusing on their children’s needs, John and Sarah have laid the foundation for a positive co-parenting relationship.

At the Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, our divorce mediators are committed to helping couples arrive at co-parenting time schedules that uphold the best interests of their children. By adopting a child-focused approach, our mediators create co-parenting solutions that promote stability, emotional security, and a nurturing environment for the children during and after the divorce. 

With the support of our skilled mediators, parents can establish a strong co-parenting foundation that fosters positive relationships with their children and enables them to thrive in the face of change. To request your free consultation with our trusted divorce mediation experts, give us a call at 657-232-0382 or complete this online form.

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