For many parents, learning how to co-parent effectively is one of the most challenging parts of life post-divorce. Co-parenting can introduce various challenges, like communication issues, timeshare problems, etc., into the parenting dynamic.
At Simon Law Group, PLLC, our team knows the ins and outs of child custody arrangements. We're bringing you our best tips for how you can successfully navigate co-parenting with your ex.
Tips for Successful Co-Parenting in 2020
If you want to have a productive co-parenting relationship with your ex, try out a few of the following methods:
- Make co-parenting an open dialogue, but have boundaries. The more you communicate about your kid, the easier it will be to figure out how to pursue their best interests. That said, boundaries are vital. Your ex shouldn't expect you to pick up the phone every time they call or constantly check in on your child when they're with you. Agree on acceptable behavior, and incorporate it into your parenting plan to make the agreement legally binding so you can take action if your ex consistently violates your boundaries.
- Have uniform rules for both households. If you don't let your child play videogames for more than a couple hours, neither should your ex. You should work together to come up with a list of boundaries you both agree on and adhere to it as much as you reasonably can. Having the same behavioral and disciplinary guidelines for your child helps prevent a "good cop, bad cop" dynamic from developing in the family.
- Don't disparage your co-parent in front of your ex (unless they engage in an action that breaks a clear moral boundary, like child abuse). This should also be a part of your parenting plan. You never want your child to feel like they have to "pick a side" or are torn between their parents. In fact, if you and your ex are on good terms, make sure to highlight your co-parent's good qualities to improve the family dynamic.
- Update your co-parent consistently, even if it's uncomfortable. Obviously, you should tell your co-parent things like when you're planning a vacation. But broaching other topics, such as having a new partner, can be more challenging. Still, both parents deserve to know about developments like a new significant other. Relationships mean more people getting involved in the family dynamic, and both parents should be on-board with how to approach the topic of new partners with their children.
- Discuss problems. Co-parenting is challenging. Invariably, your ex will make decisions you disagree with, and vice-versa. Avoid confrontation whenever possible, and instead, work on productive problem-solving. The more you can negotiate and talk through problems calmly, the better your co-parenting relationship will be.
At Simon Law Group, PLLC, we help co-parents pursue their child's best interests and protect their parental rights.
To learn more or schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (631) 237-9525.