Figuring out how to raise your children with your ex-spouse or ex-partner can be a struggle. You and your child’s other parent may have different parenting philosophies, and you might each have different ideas about what’s best for your child. This can make effective co-parenting difficult. While that’s stressful for you, it can also be harmful to your child.
Ways to improve your co-parenting relationship
The good news is that there are steps that you can take to try to strengthen your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent. Those include:
- Agreeing to a fixed schedule and adhering to it
- Being as flexible with your child’s other parent as you’d want him or her to be flexible with you
- Finding common ground on major issues like discipline methods, educational focuses, and even religious aspects of your child’s upbringing
- Avoiding talking negatively about the other parent when you’re around your child
- Being upfront about any desired changes and bringing them to the other parent’s attention before making them
- Being respectful and professional when interacting with the other parent so that any existing negativity doesn’t impact your child
- Trying to identify the other parent’s strengths and utilizing them to the benefit of your child
There are a lot of tools out there to help you build a stronger co-parenting relationship. Shared calendars are just one example. But keep in mind that every aspect of your co-parenting relationship should focus on protecting and supporting your child’s best interest.
What if co-parenting simply isn’t working out?
If you’ve tried to build a stronger co-parenting relationship and it’s still not working out, then you may need to address the matter in court. This might be in the form of a rule to show cause or a motion to modify custody and visitation. An attorney who is experienced in these matters can help guide you through that process if needed.