When parents seek co-parenting advice, they are often instructed on what not to do instead of ideas on how to make shared parenting work. Although there is no magic formula on how to co-parent effectively, there are ways to improve a co-parenting relationship:
Create a Shared Parenting Plan
Relationships might end, but being a parent will last forever, and as a parent, you should want the best for your children, regardless of your relationship status. Thus, creating a suitable parenting plan is essential to reduce the pain and stress caused to your children after the divorce.
Create a Schedule That Works for Everyone
Making sure that any schedule changes are communicated to your ex-spouse will make a world of difference regarding co-parenting. Work schedules, the distance between you and your ex-partner’s home, and school schedules are some factors to consider when creating the plan. After creating your plan, it’s in your best interest to submit that schedule to the courts before you begin enforcing it.
Communicate with Your Partner
While your relationship might have ended due to poor communication, you can’t afford to make the same mistake when sharing parenting responsibilities. For the sake of your children, you and your ex need to create more productive and open communication patterns. It would be best if you communicated using different channels, including texting, talking over the phone, and face-to-face interactions.
Communicate with Your Children
During the divorce or separation process, no matter how hard it might be for you, as a parent, you need to make sure that your children do not feel abandoned—creating a safe environment to reassure them and let them express their feelings. Listening to them is an excellent step toward understanding how best to accommodate their wants and needs.
If possible, communicate with your children together with your ex, but keep in mind not to involve your children in adult problems. Remember, you’re getting the divorce, not your children.
It’s important that, as their parent, you are open and honest during the divorce process. Of course, this doesn’t mean badmouthing your ex or trying to make your kids choose a side, but making it clear to them, in the most analytical way possible, why you’re getting divorced or separating.
Be as open with your children as possible and ensure they know they are not the cause. Divorce or separation is never easy on children, no matter their age, so it is important to let them know you’re here for their needs and safety.
Be Consistent with Your Schedule
Whether or not the courts approve your parenting plan, always ensure you stick with the schedule. Avoid making last-minute changes as much as possible. Sudden changes can leave your kids feeling confused. You can use an online calendar to avoid missing important events like parties, recitals, and school concerts.
Contact A Youngstown Child Custody Attorney
Above everything else, it is essential to note that co-parenting is about your children, not you and your ex-partner. At Hunt Law, we offer child custody legal services. We understand that building a solid co-parenting relationship can be challenging. Therefore we will offer the advice you need to draft a suitable parenting plan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.