Do you have a parenting agreement in place? Do you have hopes that this will keep you and your ex-spouse on the same page in regard to raising your child(ren)?
A parenting agreement is a good thing, but remember that you can still run into issues about child custody and support.
Successful co-parenting is possible, but it can depend on if you have the right details in place and a strategy on which you can rely. Here are five tips to guide you:
- Think about your ex-spouse's feelings. Yes, this can be hard to do after a messy divorce, but you still need to try. Just as co-parenting isn't always easy for you, your ex is likely feeling the same way.
- Be flexible with schedules. Even though you need to stick with your parenting agreement as closely as possible, there are times when flexibility is a must. For instance, your ex may need to keep your child for an extra hour to finish an activity with him or her.
- Pick your battles carefully. With co-parenting, you'll still have reasons to argue with your ex. Of course, arguing over every minor issue is a big mistake, as a simple argument can turn into something much more serious. You need to pick your battles carefully.
- Communicate in an effective and efficient manner. How you do this depends on what's best for you and your ex. Some people prefer to communicate face to face, while others realize that text messages and email is the only way to go.
- Talk about changes when necessary. If you come to find that your current parenting agreement is no longer working, you may want to discuss it with your ex. This will give you both the opportunity to decide how to best move forward.
It may not seem possible after divorce, but successful co-parenting is a goal that can be achieved. As long as you understand your legal rights and are willing to do your part, you may be surprised at how much progress you make on this front.