Quite often a relationship produces lasting memories for both people. In many cases, one of those lasting memories is the birth of a child. That child will more than likely need both parents to help raise him/her appropriately. If the parents’ relationship ends, you may need a family law attorney to help you navigate through the legal system to ensure your rights as a parent are protected. However, everything doesn’t stop once you have your court order in hand. You and the other parent have a duty to raise your child effectively. This is where co-parenting comes in.
Co-parenting allows both parents to share the duties of raising the child they created together. Co-parenting can be effective when both parents do the following:
Put aside emotions
Do not let the other parent push your buttons. Do not lose your temper – especially in front of your child. If you are wrong, then apologize even if the other parent does not reciprocate. This can not only help diffuse the situation, but can show your child the importance of admitting when they are wrong.
Drop the need for power
Do not use your children as a way to get back at your ex. Do not attempt to be the parent that your children like the most. Compromise with the other parent on activities, schedules and time.
Don’t use your child as a messenger
There is a saying that goes “Don’t kill the messenger.” Why put your child in the middle of an adult situation? If you have something to say then talk to the other parent. Do not put your child in the middle of any situation between you and the other parent.
Don’t fight or criticize the other parent in front of your child
Remember that the mother or father of your child is still the mother or father of your child. Your child did not have a choice, you did. Criticizing the other parent in front of your child only harms the relationship between you, your child and the other parent.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is the key for every successful relationship. Communication is also the key for successful co-parenting. Make use of phone calls, text messaging, emails and calendars. Follow-up with each other to ensure that no one misses a planned event.
Set ground rules
Ground rules help set the standard for how you and the other parent will co-parent your child. Follow those ground rules as if you had a business contract. Do not break the ground rules.
Don’t force a new love interest
Forcing your ex to accept your new love interest can do more harm than good. Allow your ex and your child time to get accustomed to the new relationship. As with your ex, there must be ground rules set for the new relationship.
Work together to raise your child. Share responsibilities and respect one another. Manage your co-parenting time as you would a business.
Create schedules for your children so their time is not disrupted between the two homes. Consistency reduces stress for all parties involved. Consistency also allows parents to plan activities when they are not with their child.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your child happy. Effective co-parenting can allow your child to thrive even after the end of a relationship with the other parent. Working together with the other parent can greatly benefit your child. The family law attorneys at Brandy Austin Law Firm can help you put together an effective co-parenting plan for you and your ex to use when raising your child.