Even after a child custody dispute is resolved you’ll have to frequently work with your child’s other parent to make sure that you’re able to provide your child with consistency, stability, support, and security. After all, in many instances its beneficial to the child to have both parents play an active role in his or her life, which is why joint custody arrangements are so common.
We know that working together with someone you don’t get along with isn’t easy. However, successfully co-parenting can be key for your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as your own health. But how do you make joint decisions about your child’s upbringing when you have a less than ideal relationship with your child’s other parent? Hopefully these tips will provide you with some assistance.
- Keep the focus on your child: This sounds obvious, but in a lot of co-parenting situations the parents are simply unable to set their emotions aside. They express their anger and hurt during conversations that are supposed to be about their child, which can disrupt nearly every aspect of co-parenting. To avoid this outcome, parents should try to unload their emotional baggage somewhere else. This could be to a friend, family member, or a mental health expert.
- Don’t use your child: In far too many instances, parents unknowing use their children for their own purposes. This may include using the child as a messenger so that they don’t have to speak to the other parent or using the child as someone to vent to when emotions run high. These actions can be damaging to your child and his or her relationship with the other parent. It can also make it hard to communicate with the other parent moving forward.
- Communicate effectively: You’re probably going to have to work on your communication with your child’s other parent. Many parents find it beneficial to keep the discussions almost business-like so that they don’t stray into their emotions. Try to exercise restraint while keeping the focus on your child. Be clear in your requests without coming across too harshly, and really try to listen to what the other parent is trying to say.
- Be consistent: You and your child’s other parent have to try to establish consistency for your child. This may mean developing similar, although not exactly the same, household rules and using similar forms of punishment. Try to keep your child on a similar schedule regardless of which house he or she is at, and make all important medical, educational, and financial decisions together.
- Resolve disputes effectively: You can improve your co-parenting relationship by being respectful and talking through disagreements without becoming confrontational. Also, you have to be willing to compromise to a certain extent if you hope to resolve disputes in an amicable fashion. Keep in mind that resolving disagreements effectively can protect not only your wellbeing, but also the mental condition of your child.
Competently handle your child custody issues
We’re confident that with a little work and preparation your part you can develop a strong co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent. That’s not to say that disagreements won’t arise and that you’ll always be able to avoid turning to the court for help, but that’s why attorneys stand ready to assist you when needed. In the meantime, though, we hope that the tips listed above will ease your stress and make co-parenting a whole lot easier moving forward.