Monday, July 7, 2014

Custody and "Co-parenting"

Now is as good a time as any to work on your co-parenting skills with the other parent of your children.  So what is co-parenting and how can you work on it?

Co-parenting is successfully working with the other parent of your children to raise them in a healthy environment.  It is raising your children as a team even though you are no longer romantically involved.  It is putting your children's needs first even when there are a lot of emotions swimming around in your head. 

So how can you work on co-parenting?  First of all, try to set aside all of the emotions between you and the other parent.  While it is important that you are able to communicate and are cordial with each other, co-parenting is really about focusing on the children's relationships with each parent rather than your own.  Picture how you want the other parent to encourage a relationship between you and your children and do the same.  If you are strong at communicating, talk with the other parent about how you can both encourage healthy relationships between the children and the other parent.  

Come up with a plan.  How can you be a good co-parent?  The answer to that question is different for every client I have so you need to figure out what works for you.  Put it in writing and keep it somewhere that you can look at it for a reminder when things are tough.  Again, if you can, communicate with the other parent and come up with a plan together. 

Take a co-parenting class.  A co-parenting class is a class that teaches you the basics you need to become a successful co-parent.  Even if you've taken one before, it might be time for a refresher.  If you are not sure how to find a class near you, call your local courthouse.  Many times the courts will have a list of co-parenting classes available and can point you in the right direction. 

Co-parenting takes work and it is easy to procrastinate becoming a better one but it is important for your children. 

If you are going through a divorce or custody dispute and would like a consultation, please contact us at (804) 447-0146 or