Co-parenting is a custody option that enables children to reap the benefits of having both parents around on a regular basis. While this might not seem like an ideal situation for you, it is one that can help your child immensely since your son or daughter will have two parents who are very active in life. Consider these tips when you decide co-parenting is right for your child custody situation.
#1: Use effective communication
The communication method you use with your ex can impact how the time you spend together goes. You must keep communication respectful. Some people resort to using business-like communication, including tone of voice, to keep things pleasant.
#2: Make your time together memorable
Keep the focus of the time you are with your child and your ex on your child. Your son or daughter is most important during these times. Make sure that at the end of the event, your child has made some positive memories.
#3: Be willing to compromise when issues arise
Compromise is a key to co-parenting. You and your ex can work out issues in a civil manner if both of you are willing to compromise. This also benefits your child because he or she sees that adults can work together to overcome conflicts. This is a great skill for your child to learn, even at a young age.
#4: Make the custody exchange easier
Always drop your child off for the custody exchange if you do this at a home. This gives your child a sense of closure for the experience with you and a cue that it is time to transition to the other parent's care and rules. In some cases, the transition is much rougher when the child has to wait for a parent to come over and pick him or her up.
#5: Plan ahead for holidays and vacations
School vacations, including spring break and summer vacation, require special rules. Making plans ahead of time for how to handle these situations, as well as holidays, can help make things much easier for your child. You and your ex will know what plans you need to make for your child well in advance.
Of course, some co-parenting agreements are built on creative solutions and flexibility. If this is the case, you and your ex must communicate about what is going on as early as possible to give you time to work through any possible issues.