Washington residents who are co-parenting might worry about the way the parents’ relationship can affect the children, particularly if the split between the parents was not amicable. However, parents can co-parent their children in a positive environment even when they might not like each other very much.
There are markers parents can aim for to find out if they are managing their co-parenting successfully. This begins by establishing healthy communication with each other while still respecting each other boundaries. For example, parents should focus on speaking about the things they can control, such as the children’s schedules and routines, and not on what might result in additional tension, such as the other parent’s new partner. Parents who successfully co-parent learn that keeping the focus on the children is best, and that means being able to depend on each other when it comes to visitation and custody issues. It also means learning to be flexible with the other parent, particularly when last-minute situations come up that might require a change in the children’s schedule.
Open communication also means trusting the other parent and depending on each other. It includes encouraging the children’s relationship with the other parent without feeling jealous or threatened. Finally, to create a supportive co-parenting environment, parents should be on the same page about important matters such as how to educate and discipline their kids and how to make health care choices for them. A well-developed parenting plan can often help parents successfully co-parent by outlining many of the situations they will face later on.
When it comes to matters of custody and visitation, additional help might be provided by the assistance of a family law lawyer. A lawyer may help the parents design their parenting plan in a way that works for the family while still advising them about the legal aspects of child custody.