When you make the decision to separate from your partner and you have children together, you have to think carefully about how to handle the child custody aspect of the split. This is a delicate balance because you must do what is best for the children and this might not be the easiest choice for you. If you and your former partner are able to work as a team, you may find that it is a lot easier to agree on a parenting plan.
Working with your ex on this matter is going to come at a time when you might be emotionally raw from the split. Trying to separate those feelings from the child custody negotiations is not always easy. However, unless your relationship ended due to abuse or addiction on the part of one parent, there is little chance that the factors leading to the separation will matter in the custody case.
It may help you to remember that a person can be a wonderful parent even if they were a bad spouse or partner. Paying attention to interactions between your ex and your child might make it a little easier to see the good in his or her parenting style.
As you are coming up with the terms for the parenting plan, make sure that everything is laid out clearly. This will leave less room for misunderstandings in the future, which benefits you and the children. Additionally, remember that the plan needs to address what your child needs now since it is possible to modify it later as those needs change.