Divorcing parents in California are probably familiar with the term “co-parenting.” In a good co-parenting relationship, exes may disagree with each other on child-raising issues, but they find healthy ways of working through their problems. It also helps if parents can agree on some fundamental decisions, like education, medical care and religious upbringing. Even if this is not the case, there are several other behaviors parents can learn from when trying to have a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Co-parenting is a lot easier when both parents are flexible about their child custody schedules. Being flexible means being open to revisiting the custody schedule as children get older. It also requires being accommodating of the other parent when schedule changes are needed.
Separated parents also fare better when they focus on their children’s wellbeing instead of trying to “win.” For instance, before leaving children with a babysitter, one could ask the other co-parent if he or she wants to have extra time with the kids instead, even if this means getting more than the allotted custody time.
Parents should refrain from saying negative things about each other to their kids. Furthermore, they should encourage their children to have a good relationship with the other parent. It is not healthy for a child to be put in the middle of a parenting dispute or use a child to manipulate an ex-spouse.
If parents are kind and civil to each other, they’ll have an easier time communicating and being together when needed to support their children, such as attending a parent-teacher conference. All this said, parents can have a hard time even agreeing on a custody schedule in the first place. This is where a family law attorney can come in handy.