Co-parenting can be challenging, especially when there are disagreements or constant conflict between the parents. Many parents still choose to co-parent because of the benefits it provides the children: stability, consistency, less change and active participation from both parents.
If your divorce is contentious and you are wondering if it is possible to co-parent, the answer is yes! You can absolutely figure out a way to parent together if you are both willing to do it for the children and if you have a solid plan in place.
Develop a parenting plan
Whether you have a court-issued parenting plan or are creating your own, make sure that your parenting plan is as detailed as possible. Ensure that:
- It outlines expectations from both parents
- It states the parents’ responsibilities clearly
- It specifies the time each parent will spend with the children
- It states who will have the children on holidays and birthdays
- It specifies who will have the children during school breaks
- It is comprehensive in stating who will pay for what, how and when
- It accounts for exceptions, special circumstances and accidents
The most important reason for creating a solid parenting plan is to avoid conflict between the parents. If, before the divorce is final, the parents can create a structured and comprehensive parenting plan that accounts for anything they could possibly imagine could happen, the more likely it is that co-parenting will be a success.
In addition, consider using tools that can help. For example:
- Online platforms for parents to communicate instead of texting or calling
- Phone applications to keep track of appointments and schedules
- A shared online space where parents keep important information about the kids
Today, there are many online applications created for parents who want to co-parent their children and keep an organized life. Many of these applications are suitable for parents who do not necessarily get along.
Consider technology for support
Courts sometimes require parents to communicate via specific phone applications that keep record of all communication within the application, so parents cannot delete or alter messages, and if necessary, the conversations can be submitted to the court.
Judges often do this when parents are constantly fighting and arguing and going to court for issues regarding custody of the children. Even if your judge did not require you to do this, you can still use these services to support your co-parenting plan, and to make it easier and more organized.
Co-parenting does not require parents to be best friends or to get along. It is, however, a mature decision that parents can make to ensure the best interests of their children after divorce.