When you’re going through a divorce or separation involving children, one of the hardest parts is deciding how you and your former partner will parent going forward.
If the two of you have an amicable relationship, co-parenting may work to both your benefit and your children’s. But where should you start?
What is Co-Parenting?
Many parents who divorce or separate want to have an equal part in raising their children. When you decide to co-parent your children, you choose to have equal responsibility and participation in significant decisions regarding the children.
Major decisions can include:
- Medical care
- School system placement
- Daycare or babysitter options
- Legal or financial decisions
- Applying for major documents like a license or passport
When you choose to co-parent, both you and your former partner should be involved in these decisions and others that will significantly affect your children’s lives.
How Can You Co-Parent Successfully?
The most successful co-parenting strategy involves making a plan. Without set guidelines and agreed-upon rules, co-parenting can fall apart quickly. What should you include in your co-parenting plan?
Create a Schedule
A schedule means both parents know where the children are at what time. It also helps avoid misunderstandings regarding who gets to spend time with the children and when.
Stick to Consistent Rules
Create rules for the whole family. Children should understand when they spend time with each parent and any other guidelines for that time.
Maintain a Positive Environment
Divorce is a stressful time for children. Avoid talking negatively about your former partner when your children are present. Give them time to process the new events in their lives and let them know you are there to answer questions.
Communication is one of the most basic and essential parts of your plan. Communicate with your co-parent and with your children, so everyone understands the rules and feels respected in these new circumstances.
Soren Law Group Can Help
Co-parenting can be challenging, which is why Soren Law Group, PLLC offers mediation services to help make the divorce or separation process less stressful.
Call our Staten Island Law office at 718-815-4500 or contact us online to request a consultation.