Co-parenting after a divorce is rarely easy. Your entire outlook on parenting and routine must change, but that doesn’t mean you need to make your child’s well-being any less of a priority.
At Myers Law Firm, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping divorced and separated parents reach co-parenting arrangements and custody agreements that meet their family’s needs. In this blog article, we’ll share six tips you can use to create a successful co-parenting arrangement.
1. Prioritize the Child’s Well-Being
The number one goal of any successful co-parenting plan is to make sure your child or children feel supported and loved by both parents. Sometimes, this means deviating from the agreed-upon schedule and being flexible.
When the opportunity arises for your children to spend time with the other parent outside of their court-ordered schedule — at a concert or athletic event, for example, or when there are other spontaneous opportunities they would enjoy — don’t dismiss these opportunities just because they aren’t part of a pre-arranged schedule. Consider what your child wants and what would make them happiest.
2. Show Up for The Kids
Successful co-parenting is about putting aside differences to show up, support your children, and solve challenges together. “Showing up” can mean attending meaningful events and life moments even though your ex will be there. You may not want to spend time with your ex, but your children probably understand this. When you make the effort anyway and don’t cause a scene with the other parent, it shows your children they are your first priority, and it will make them feel supported as they navigate life after the split.
3. Communicate With Your Ex
If you and your ex can’t communicate in a cordial and constructive way, you’ll struggle to make co-parenting work. Communication means talking with each other openly about issues and challenges involving your child, not venting whatever you’re feeling about the other parent. If you still have negative feelings or unresolved emotional issues with your ex, don’t air those grievances during co-parenting conversations. Work those issues out with friends, family, or a qualified therapist, and make co-parenting conversations about your children and what’s best for them.
Also note that when we say successful co-parents talk with each other, we mean directly: Kids should never act as the go-between between their parents. Let your children be children, and save your questions, concerns, and disagreements for private conversations between you and your ex. If your ex refuses to communicate or act reasonably, you may need to get an attorney involved.
4. Use Co-Parenting Tools
There are more apps and digital tools available than ever for separated and divorced parents raising children. Innovative digital tools like budget trackers, scheduling assistants, and conflict resolution apps can facilitate compromise, prevent confusion, and help both parents stay organized. With these digital tools keeping everyone on the same page, you and your ex can focus on being the best parents you can.
5. Celebrate Milestones and Important Moments — Together
It’s not easy for children to adjust to having only one parent present for special moments. When something significant happens in your child’s life and the other parent isn’t a party to it, consider sharing the news with the other parent. Including them in the event or moment, even if it’s just via text or video call, keeps the focus on your children and makes these moments that much more memorable for the children.
6. Never Put Your Children in the Middle of a Dispute
If your divorce or separation involved pain, hurt feelings, or bad behavior, no one expects you to magically forget about all that. And if your ex is being unreasonable at any point during co-parenting, it’s okay to be angry at them.
However, co-parenting is most successful when you can insulate your children from conflicts between you and your ex, whether it’s a new issue or part of the problem that contributed to the split in the first place. You should never disparage or degrade your ex in front of your children, and you shouldn’t make your kids feel like they need to choose sides.
If your ex is refusing to co-parent reasonably or if they’re putting your kids at risk, you don’t have to put up with this behavior. You can get in touch with an experienced family law attorney who will protect your rights and help you resolve any aspects of co-parenting that aren’t serving your children’s best interests.
Contact Myers Law Firm for Help With Divorce and Related Legal Issues in Charlotte, North Carolina
We understand how challenging it can be to create a new normal as a separated parent. When co-parenting gets tough, the dedicated and compassionate team at Myers Law Firm is here to help. We can support you through challenging times and help you resolve legal issues like child custody and child support.
To schedule your initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney from the Myers Law Firm team, call us at (888) 376-2889 or fill out our easy and convenient online contact form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.