When parents share joint legal custody, they will need to demonstrate to the court how they plan to co-parent their children. Mediation is an ideal place to develop a parenting plan that provides for the child’s physical and emotional well being as well as changing needs as the child grows and matures. The parenting plan will outline each parent’s responsibilities with respect to the child’s residence, health care, education and religious upbringing, as well as a dispute resolution process in the plan. Through the mediation process, parents are not forced into the legal paradigm imposed by the courts but rather empowered to take control of their own destiny regarding the parenting of their children. During mediation, the mediator will outline the necessary elements that need to be included in a successful parenting plan.