Family Law Watch: Co-Parenting the Right Way
For some divorced couples, co-parenting may come easily, especially if the divorce itself was straightforward and the foundation of friendship remains intact. Unfortunately, co-parenting can be very difficult for some parents, causing resentment and undue stress. While such circumstances may be difficult, it is not impossible for parents to learn to co-parent during and after a divorce. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Communicate Regularly: Effective co-parents communicate regularly. Co-parents must learn to communicate with each other to problem-solve going forward. It becomes expensive for both parents when communication occurs solely through attorneys. If parties have a difficult time communicating face to face, there are other ways to talk, including text messages and emails, which allow each party to have an on-going record of communications to avoid misunderstandings.
2. Seek Assistance From Professionals: Many resources are available for individuals going through divorce. Family counseling and individual counseling may be good options to work through difficulties and learn communication tools. Enrolling in a co-parenting class can also be helpful. Such classes may be found online or through the parties’ respective attorneys.
3. Avoid Court When Possible: While litigation may be necessary in some cases, parties may want to consider alternatives to resolve issues. An experienced mediator who specializes in child custody disputes can help avoid the added stress and cost of litigating custody issues. Family law attorneys can work with their clients to help identify the right custody mediator for their particular case. If an agreement can’t be reached through mediation, attorneys will often assist in resolving custody issues by looking to the custody mediator’s recommendations.
When parents can co-parent peacefully and remain on friendly terms, children are likely to be happier amidst the difficult circumstances.