Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

Help for parents to successfully co-parent

Parenting can be challenging following a divorce but some useful tips can help. Understanding how parents can handle the challenges of co-parenting can be helpful for parents to successfully co-parent their children. It is important to be thinking about co-parenting early on in the divorce process, as co-parenting considerations should be top of mind for parents while they are negotiating their parenting agreement which will address concerns such as parenting schedules, decision-making responsibilities and financial concerns.

Co-parenting involves careful communication with the other parent and the children and parents should never share negative feelings or opinions they may hold concerning the other parent. To successfully co-parent, parents should keep their focus on the children. It is essential to maintain respect for the other parent when co-parenting and in front of the children. Parents should also establish a method of maintaining open lines of communication to help them successfully co-parent.

Visitation schedules, holiday schedules and vacation schedules are important for co-parents. Parents may want to communicate concerning schedules with a weekly status update meeting. They can exchange information about the activities of the children and other topics such as parent-teacher conferences during that time. Additionally, it is helpful for parents to email when co-parenting and they may wish to leave occasional voice messages. It is important to keep in mind that the family law system serves as a resource for parents to establish custody and a co-parenting plan and if they need to modify a custody agreement.

Parents and children should be prepared for change following a divorce but by working together as cooperative co-parents, and listening to the needs and concerns of their children, parents can remain focused on what matters most. Focusing on what is in the best interests of the children will help divorced parents successfully co-parent their children.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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