The thought of co-parenting can be every bit as scary as the divorce process. While you don't have any control over the other parent, there are things you can do to make the process less stressful on you and your child.
The first thing you need to remember is that co-parenting is an adjustment for both parents. You may not know exactly what you are doing at first, but it's your hope that things settle down as the days go by.
Here are several co-parenting tips that can change your life in positive ways:
- Think about how the other person feels. Even if you had a messy divorce, you should still consider your ex-spouse's feelings. By putting yourself in his or her shoes, you can make better co-parenting decisions.
- Be flexible at times. You don't want your ex-spouse to push you around, but there are times when it's okay to be flexible. For example, if his or her schedule has changed and they need to adjust a pick-up or drop-off time, be open to this. Fighting back may only make things worse.
- Keep an open line of communication. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is shutting down all lines of communication, as this makes it next to impossible to co-parent with success. Some people are okay chatting on the phone or in person, while others would rather do everything via text or email. The only thing that matters is that you find a communication channel that works for the both of you.
- Respect the other parent's rules. You need to work together to set rules that the child will follow when spending time with the both of you. If there is something you don't agree on, such as a bedtime or curfew, discuss it with the other parent in an attempt to find a resolution.
These co-parenting tips won't prevent every possible problem, but they can absolutely work in your favor.
In the event that the other parent isn't following the agreement outlined by the court, you may need to learn more about your legal rights. It's important to remain flexible and friendly, but not if the other parent is impeding on your rights.