4 Co-Parenting Tips All Parents Need to Know
While there’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to your children, check out this guide to learn about the top co-parenting tips that all parents need to know.
1. Think Quality Over Quantity
Many parents get hung up on making sure that their child spends the same amount of time with each parent.
However, for a co-parenting relationship to succeed, you want to think quality over quantity. In other words, you want to figure out a schedule that allows both you and your partner to spend quality time with your child. For example, if you’re incredibly busy during the workweek, it may make more sense to have your partner care for your child Monday-Friday. And, even though the weekend is just two days, this will likely mean you’ll get to experience uninterrupted, quality time with your child.
2. Compromise is Important
Compromise is the key to a successful marriage, and it’s also the key to a successful divorce. If you want your co-parenting situation to work, you need to accept that compromising is a part of the deal.
Life happens. Sometimes schedules need to be rearranged for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s due to illness or some other circumstances, you may find yourself in a situation that requires a last-minute change. Try to be flexible and accommodating when it’s possible while respecting each other.
Aside from schedule changes, there will be many decisions ahead as you navigate co-parenting. If you keep your child’s best interest at heart, you should be able to reach amicable compromises with minimal stress.
3. Acknowledge Your Child’s Concerns and Practice Empathy
No matter how old your child is, divorce can be incredibly tough on them. In fact, studies show that divorce may increase the risk of mental health problems and behavioral problems in children and adolescence.
To make sure your child’s psyche isn’t completely disrupted, it’s essential that you show them empathy during the separation process and that you acknowledge their concerns and frustrations. For example, let’s say your child says something like, “I don’t want to go to Daddy’s house.”
A good way to respond to this is by asking questions regarding why they don’t want to go and saying something like, “I know moving around can be tough, but you’re lucky to have a great dad, and I bet you’ll have a ton of fun with him.” If your child seems particularly gloomy or stressed, ask them if there’s anything you can do to make the situation easier. Sometimes, it’s as easy as moving more of their stuff into their other parent’s new house, so they feel more at home there.
4. Don’t Make Your Child the Go-Between
Last but not least, you must never make your child the go-between between you and your ex. While you may never fully lose the feelings of bitterness you have about your breakup, it’s important to compartmentalize those feelings and remind yourself that your issues are not your child’s issues. Never say negative things about your ex in front of your child, and if you have a problem with your ex, talk to them directly instead of making your child the messenger.
Co-Parenting Often Requires Legal Assistance – Get an Expert Team on Your Side
With these co-parenting tips in mind, the separation should go a lot more smoothly for both you, your ex, and most importantly – your child. However, it’s not uncommon for co-parents to find themselves in situations where legal assistance is required. Whether it be a custody dispute, modifying a visitation schedule, or a child support agreement, you want a team of family law experts to represent you and the best interest of your child.
For a free consultation with one of the dedicated family law attorneys at The Valley Law Group, call (480) 300-6012 today!
Ryan Reppucci, Founder/Director of Legal Operations of The Valley Law Group, is recognized as one of Phoenix’s leading family law attorneys. After graduating from Arizona State with the highest honors and inclusion in America’s most prestigious student honor societies, Ryan attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. His career as a law student was decorated with numerous awards, including the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Book Award, nomination for membership in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, as well as Moot Court.