Parenting plans should be created for effective co-parenting to exist. This plan will eliminate conflict in the future when extenuating life circumstances are faced. Some situations where such a plan is useful are also situations where parallel parenting should transpire. Difficult life circumstances like job loss, evictions, incarcerations, chronic illness, terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce, marriage, birth of a child, etc. create stressors and parenting challenges can become unstable. During such times the parenting plan offers the guidelines that have been agreed on and should be followed in order to reduce the need to negotiate terms of custody and visitation. The parenting plan is a legal document when it has been agreed on and signed in front of a notary public. Modifying the plan is as easy as editing the document and having it notarized again. No costly court proceedings are involved when parents are able to agree through cooperative negotiations about its terms and conditions. Click here for an example of a parenting plan.