Cook County parents facing divorce often want to make sure they get to spend as much time with their children as possible. For many of them, this means a joint custody arrangement. While there are many benefits to this type of agreement, working them into a parenting plan could help make sure each parent receives the most out of them. Below are two of those benefits that parents may want to include in their parenting plans.

The first issue is discipline. Neither parent wants to be the “bad guy” when it comes to making sure the children follow the rules. In a situation in which each parent has the children as close to half the time as possible, issues will arise and require disciplinary action. It wouldn’t be fair for one parent to make the other shoulder all the responsibility. Parents can agree on what discipline will apply to certain situations and put it in writing so that everyone remains on the same page.

The fact is that children are expensive. Meeting their needs, even the basic ones, can be costly. When parents share joint custody, those expenses can often be more equitably split. Neither parent will shoulder the bulk of the burden of meeting the children’s daily needs. In fact, parents could address this issue in their parenting plan. For instance, the parent who has the children at any given time meets ordinary daily needs, but extraordinary needs, perhaps those that exceed a certain dollar amount, will be split between the parties.

Any Cook County parent looking to negotiate a parenting plan derived from a joint custody arrangement may want to include the above and other benefits into it in order to keep things more fair and equitable. Each parent retains responsibility for meeting the needs of the children, and this often includes needs that may not be pleasant to address, such as discipline and costs. Sharing these responsibilities can make co-parenting less stressful for both parents and children.