When people get divorced, often their first thought is that they will not have to deal with their ex-spouse anymore. But if a couple has kids, that is not true. The two parents will have years of dealing with each other since they are both still the parents of their children.
The parents’ focus now shifts from husband and wife to mom and dad. It is helpful if they can think “team mom” and “team dad.” Co-parenting means that they need to communicate with each other and put their kids first, no matter how upset they may continue to be at each other. Contempt needs to be set aside and the primary focus should always be the well-being of the children.
Good co-parenting means putting the primary focus on the children. For example, focus on:
Communication is key and needs to be inclusive. For example, if one parent gets an email from a teacher, that parent should forward it on to the other parent if it appears the other parent did not receive a copy.
If one parent finds out there is a school event involving a child, like a band concert or a dramatic play presentation that parent should make sure the other one knows about it.
A good co-parenting relationship is much better environment for raising the children. They are happier and more stable than children who have parents who do not cooperate with each other and who are often fighting.
Co-parenting also requires parents to avoid criticizing the other parent in front of the children. The children should never feel as though they must choose one parent over the other.
It is sometimes not an easy thing to do. We do have communication tools that can help.
At Martinez Legal, we have some online tools that can help parents with co-parenting. Ask us about OurFamilyWizard, AppClose, and Google Docs. These tools can help parents keep their focus on the children.
Parents should always keep in mind that it is the children’s mental health and stability that should be given the highest priority.