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Making a co-parenting relationship successful

Even before a baby is born, parents-to-be may discuss their intended parenting methods. After their birth, parents will continually improve and address their parenting techniques as their child grows and needs change. And as most suspect, certain life events could greatly disturb how parents in California and elsewhere will parent their children. Divorce is one of those times where parents will have to reach an agreement, either on their own or by the court, on how they will parent their children moving forward.

While it is never easy to talk about what parenting will be like post-divorce, it is important to begin this discussion when spouses begin to negotiate their divorce. It is important to spell out what you want your parenting time to look like, what decisions can be made by each parent and who will cover costs related to raising the child. If parents are seeking a joint custody arrangement and they believe that they are able to collaborate and communicate effectively post-divorce, a co-parenting relationship is often the best route to take.

In order to make it a successful relationship, parents should keep a few pointers in mind. First, they should keep their feelings and thoughts about their ex out of the minds and hearts of the children. Talking ill about an ex is a sure way to fail at co-parenting. Next, parents should remain respectful to the other parent. One does not need to go overboard or be fake to be respectful. Maintaining a positive attitude could help the relationship.

Co-parents should be sure to keep their lines of communication open. Because this relationship is based on the parent's ability to communicate effectively, parents should not purposefully close these lines of communication. Parents should also be prepared for changes. A co-parenting relationship will not remain the same way the day it was established. The changing needs of children as well as both parents could impact and alter the agreement. Finally, parents should be open and honest with their children. They should encourage them to express and worries or concerns they might have. This could spark some necessary changes for the best interests of the children.

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Nonetheless, this does not mean that parents cannot make the best out of the situation. Divorcing parents dealing with family law issues should understand what steps they can take to protect their rights and the interests of their children.

Source:, "5 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting," Leah Klungness, may 3, 2017

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