One nice theme in today’s divorces is when parents put the children first. Many courts prefer that couples work out their own parenting plan rather than rely on the judge’s discretion. While it can be difficult to create a co-parenting plan, if you and your spouse can put aside the emotions of the divorce to work together, it is much better for the child. Co-parenting brings stability and security to the child’s world after the upheaval of a divorce. 

To successfully co-parent, you will have to make a commitment to: 

  • Talk to the other parent about schedules, school events and behavior.
  • Encourage consistent rules between households. This doesn’t mean that houses cannot have separate rules, but things like bedtime, school work and chores should be consistent.
  • Agree to speak positively about the other parent when talking to your children.
  • Agree to not use the children to carry messages, even simple things.
  • Do ordinary things with the children. It can be tempting to want to one-up the other parent or to make grand gestures of fun when you do not have the children all the time.
  • Work with the other parent to resolve conflict.
  • Remember that shared parenting is not always 50/50 equal time. Be flexible and consider what works best for the child. 

It is very difficult to stay focused on the children when you are going through a divorce, but in the long run, it is worth the effort. You will always be mom and dad to your children, and even after the kids grow up, you will still have to share their time. Start now to heal the rift to allow your children to have healthy relationships with both of you. If you need help creating a parenting plan, a divorce attorney can help you remember your goals and keep you within the guidelines of the law