Co-Parenting: How to Tell When You’re Doing it Right
It takes a lot of effort and hard work for two parents to say they’re at a point where they work together and do what’s best for the kids while minimizing conflict. And the hard work and effort required only increases when the parents involved are no longer together but are trying to co-parent together after divorce. If you’re a California co-parenting trying to make it happen after a divorce, here’s how to tell when you’re doing it right.
Co-Parenting: Signs You’re Getting it Right
1. Clear Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to make it easier to work together while co-parenting with your ex. Clear boundaries will also make it easier to recognize what you have control over and what you do not have control over in connection to your children and your ex. You cannot control when your ex introduces your kids to his dates (unless you addressed the situation specifically in your parenting plan or custody agreement), but you can control the example you set for your kids when it comes to frustrations.
2. Predetermined Schedule: When everyone agrees to, follows, and is comfortable with a solid, set routine, parenting time transitions go much more smoothly. When plans for pick up and drop off and parenting time hinge on a lot of “maybes,” it often leads to stress, frustration, and conflict. Being able to depend on the other parent to maintain their commitments significantly increases chances for co-parenting success.
3. Flexible Attitude: A solid routine is healthy, but it’s just as important to remember to be flexible when necessary. Try to be just as accommodating with your ex as you would like them to be with you.
4. Request Child Care from Co-Parent First: Co-parents should refer to one another first when in need of childcare. Doing so is another sign that you are in a healthy co-parenting relationship. Calling one another first before leaving the kids with a babysitter is a sign that co-parents work well together. In some cases, this is written into the parenting plan, but even if it is not, it is common courtesy to check with your ex before finding a babysitter.
5. General Agreement: Another sign of a healthy co-parenting relationship is that you and your ex generally agree on the essential issues. No two parents are always going to agree on every decision, but a healthy co-parenting relationship usually means you agree on the children’s health, discipline, education, and religious choices.
If you are worried about how to create a healthy relationship with your ex, start with a well thought out parenting plan. Address the areas of concern directly and clearly in the parenting plan, but include allowances for inevitable changes and exceptions. If you have questions about how to create a solid parenting plan or create a healthy co-parenting relationship after divorce, get in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney at The Maggio Law Firm today.