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Ways to Make Co-Parenting a Success

Do you currently share physical or joint custody of your children? Co-parenting can be difficult, especially after a long and grueling divorce in court. Studies have been conducted by parenting experts, which show that children who have been through divorce will develop and cope better when both parents are actively involved with their lives. When they have these ongoing relationships with each parent after the divorce, then it seems to detract from the fact that their parents are no longer together and it helps diminish any lasting emotional trauma they may have experienced. Co-parenting is encouraged by the courts universally, because in almost all cases it is in the best interest of the children.

Parents may hear this and think, that is easier said then done. For those of you in that situation, here are some helpful tips and things to avoid in order to make co-parenting a little bit simpler and more successful in the long run. The co-parenting rules are as follow:

  1. Don't Alienate the Other Parent or Deny Your Child Time with Them.
    Children need time with both of their parents and even if you are angry with the other parent that should not get in the way of their relationship with the child. By alienating them or keep them from seeing the other parent, you are upsetting the family dynamic and you could create more behavioral problems for your child.
  2. Don't Argue in Front of Your Child.
    If you and the other parent get in frequent disagreements, do not have these fights in front of your child. As parents you set the example and you are a role model for them. If you are having an argument, do it somewhere where you child will not see or hear what is happening.
  3. Don't Treat Your Child As a Friend.
    In many divorce cases, parents find themselves feeling guilt and other complex emotions. It is not fair to burden your child with these emotions. By treating your child as more of a confidant, you could rob them of their innocence and their childhood. This means that if you need to share your feelings or vent about your feelings regarding your ex, talk to a friend or counselor and not your child.
  4. Don't Stick Your Child in the Middle As a Messenger Between You and Your Ex.
    If you and the other parent are having issues, do not use your child as the middle man to convey your messages back and forth. Discuss your issues directly with the other parent and do not get your child involved. This way, the child does not feel that they have to protect one parent or the other or does not have to feel bad if they convey the wrong message.
  5. Don't Parent Solo; Act As a Team.
    Even though you may be divorced, the other parent is still involved in the parenting process and the two of you should work together in this area. Your parenting style should still reflect that of a married individual- being a parent comes first and being a divorcee will always come second. If you and your spouse are able to parent together as a team, the divorce transition will be much easier for your child.
  6. Be Fexible and Understanding.
    Since you are a team, it is important that you are somewhat flexible and able to compromise with the other parent in areas where you disagree. This type of team cooperation will show through and demonstrate to your child that working together is a good thing. Flexibility also demonstrates forgiveness. If you are able to overcome the hurt feelings, life will be much easier not only for you but for your child as well.
  7. Try to Include the Other Parent Whenever Possible.
    Although you may have separate custody or visitation times, it is beneficial for your child if you include the other parent in family outtings, school activities, sporting events and other special occasions. Don't exclude or alienate them from these important events. If your child has both of you involved in those special memories, they will hold more value and the child we be better adjusted when they grow up.

Co-parenting can be very difficult, but if you are being civil and cooperative for your child's sake, it is always worth it in the end. Parenting is a team objective and if both of you try to make the business relationship work, then you have a more significant chance of success. For questions about co-parenting, shared custody or visitation, be sure contact a Culver City divorce lawyer form our firm today.