Co-parenting after a divorce can be challenging. Your relationship with your ex has completely changed, yet somehow you must find a way to function together as parents. Co-parenting is beneficial for your child, yet may feel impossible to you when your marriage or relationship is ending. Follow these tips to successfully co-parent.
- Use schedules. Completely plan out parenting time and transfer times so that they are set in writing and there is no need to communicate or argue about them.
- Create rules. Agree that you must ask each other for schedule changes a week in advance or with as much notice as possible in emergencies.
- Never discuss your issues with each other in front of your child. Save adult discussions for times when you can meet independently or talk privately.
- Be flexible. You will likely need your ex to cut you some slack at some point, so decide to do the same for him or her.
- Focus on your parenting relationship. Your relationship as partners did not work, but you are still parents. When you are talking with your ex, think of him or her only as your co-parent, not as the person who hurt you, ruined your relationship or destroyed your vision of the future.
- Put your child first. It’s tempting to get some revenge or payback, but in your parenting dealings remember that you are parenting together for your child. Focus on what’s best for your child, not what will make you feel better.
- Have business meetings. Meet with your ex to discuss the schedule, decisions about your child and other parenting matters. Keep the boundaries firm and do not let the discussion drift to arguments about money or personal betrayals. Keep things on topic and to the point.
- Use alternative communication methods. Texts and emails give you some distance and allow you to take time in responding to each other. These can help you reduce conflict and stay focused on your parenting responsibilities.
For help with visitation and parenting time, contact DeTorres & DeGeorge.