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Effective co-parenting after separation

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation |

When people think of co-parenting, it’s most often related to a divorced couple. But Washington couples with minor children who separate go through the same challenges as divorced parents. Separating when you have young children can be difficult, and many parents struggle with learning how to co-parent in a way that best benefits the children. If you’ve recently gone through a separation and are facing co-parenting struggles, it can help to prepare yourself with some knowledge about how to co-parent effectively.

Co-parenting with conflict

If you left the relationship with your ex on bad terms, you may struggle with co-parenting. Parents often disagree on how best to share time with their children after a separation. Communication is essential to a good co-parenting relationship, but when the parents don’t get along, it’s hard to have an open dialogue about schedules, custody arrangements and other important matters.

Remember that your co-parenting relationship affects your children. It’s important to keep your children away from adult issues as much as possible. They need two parents who are willing to work together to come up with a plan that provides for their financial, emotional and physical needs. Don’t talk poorly about the other party, and don’t put your children in situations where they feel like they’re forced to choose between one parent or the other.

Work together

When dealing with a difficult ex, it’s helpful to communicate through text or email. This prevents emotional outbursts and ensures that you have proof of the communication in case you need it for court. While these modes of communication can be challenging, they often work best when talking to one another leads to disagreements. Learning to be flexible and not let the small stuff turn into bigger problems can prevent many common co-parenting issues.

A detailed custody arrangement that lists holiday schedules, weekly parenting times and other important information can ensure that you’re both on the same page. Be sure to list who will have the authority to make important decisions about medical issues or educational concerns. While it can be tedious, the more detailed information included in your custody order, the less likely there is to be a misunderstanding or miscommunication.

Legal advice

After a separation, it’s helpful to get legal advice when you’re working with your ex to reach a custody agreement. Even if you’re both on the same page and in agreement on important custody terms, having those terms in writing is important. An official custody agreement that aligns with Washington’s laws will provide you with the help you need to start on the right foot in your co-parenting relationship.