It is extremely common for courts to grant shared custody to parents going through a divorce. This means that both parents have to work together to raise their children.
Co-parenting can take some getting used to, and if the parents do not get along, it can be even more challenging. However, figuring out a way to make it work results in a more positive experience for the child and you.
Create a parenting plan
Today’s Parent discusses that creating a detailed parenting plan lays out expectations and can prevent a lot of potential conflict. Some important things to include in this plan are:
- Which days the child is with each parent as well as drop off and pick up details
- Schedules for holidays, summer break and vacations
- How you will make medical and other major decisions
- Details regarding child support
- Details about when/how the child can communicate with the other parent
Medical News Today discusses that it helps if you develop routines and rules together and include them in the plan. This allows for better consistency and shows your child you are a united front regarding discipline.
Healthy and effective communication is imperative when you parent jointly. Your communication should be respectful, clear and concise. If you are unable to talk face to face or over the phone, email or text also works. Just be sure not to use an intermediary. Also use active listening, such as taking turns, not interrupting and rephrasing to improve understanding, when having conversations.
Put the child’s needs first
Ultimately, co-parenting means focusing on the child and putting his or her needs first. Put aside your differences and support each other in raising a well-rounded and emotionally healthy individual.