One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce is determining what will happen with the children. Custody and visitation are some of the most complicated aspects of divorce, and parents often want to choose an arrangement that provides their child with stability and security long-term. This is why many opt to co-parent together.
Co-parenting is a popular option because it allows the child to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. It can provide many benefits for the kids, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy for the parents who just went through a divorce. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do that will allow you to navigate this potentially complicated situation better and with less strife.
Easier co-parenting is possible
To co-parent well, you will have to set aside your own temporary feelings. Communicating and cooperating with an ex is not easy, but it can be worth it if it means you will be protecting the best interests of your kids. Some of the things you can do to be a better co-parent and make life easier for your children include:
- Communicate clearly — Even in arguments, it’s best if co-parents speak clearly and communicate openly so they can reach a conclusion that will benefit their children.
- Don’t put children in the middle — It is not healthy to make children feel as if they have to choose between their parents. When children have to make adult decisions, it can lead to anxiety, stress and other problems.
- Remain flexible — Flexibility is the key to making co-parenting work. You will not always get your way, but compromise can lead to results that benefit every member of the family.
- Get support — Divorce is hard, and co-parenting can be hard, too. Find a support network of people who understand what you’re going through. This provides a place for you to vent, ask questions and get advice when needed.
Every co-parenting situation is unique. The foundation of any good parenting plan is a solid custody order, drafted with the best interests of the children in mind. A thorough parenting plan can reduce the chance of fights and confusion over terms.
Your parental rights matter
Choosing to co-parent does not mean you are relinquishing your parental rights. You may find it beneficial to speak with a California family law attorney who can help you understand what you need to do to protect your role as a parent while also providing stability and security for your kids.