If you are going through a divorce, custody, or paternity case, you probably have heard of the term “co-parenting”, but what does it mean? Co-parenting is when both parents play an active role in their children’s lives to ensure the children’s needs are met and that the children can have a close relationship with both parents. This often takes work and proves to be more difficult than it sounds. “It can be extremely difficult to get past the painful history you may have with your ex and overcome built-up resentments. Making shared decisions, interacting with each another at drop-offs, or just speaking to a person you’d rather forget all about can seem like impossible tasks. Despite the many challenges, though, it is possible to develop an amicable working relationship with your ex for the sake of your children.”
Successful co-parenting can be done by putting your feelings about your ex (and your relationship with him/her) aside and focusing on what is best for your children, which often means you will have a business-like relationship with your ex. Co-parenting has many benefits, including:
- It makes children feel more secure
- Children benefit from the consistency
- Children have a better understanding of problem solving
- Children have a healthy relationship example to follow
- Children are often times mentally and emotionally healthier
So, what are some tips for successfully co-parenting? Helpguide.org put together a list for successful co-parenting relationships that we thought was very helpful, including the following tips:
- Set hurt and anger aside.
- Separate feelings from behavior
- Don’t put your children in the middle
- Improve communication with your co-parent.
- Communicate in a business-like manner
- Make requests
- Ensure communication is child-focused
- Co-parent as a team.
- Aim for consistency
- Make important decisions together
- Resolve disagreements by talking, compromising, and not sweating the small stuff
- Make transitions easier.
- When your child leaves, anticipate the change and pack in advance (depending on age)
- When your child returns, keep things low-key, allow the child space, and establish a special routine
If you have questions about co-parenting, or would like to learn more about custody issues in divorce, custody, or paternity cases, contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.