Co-parenting can be a difficult transition for California parents who make the decision to divorce. When a parent is accustomed to the constant presence of the children, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to move into joint custody or visitation time. However, the process of co-parenting can be improved by keeping a few guidelines in mind.
First and foremost, both parents should always put their children’s best interests first. While exes may have little interest in interacting with each other shortly after finalizing the divorce, the children will still be just as interested in both parents. Therefore, each parent has a responsibility to foster and nurture the children’s connection with the other parent.
That scheduling can be one of the more challenging aspects of co-parenting. A shared calendar can be an essential tool that tracks when children will spend time in each household as well as key appointments, school holidays, performances and events. By scheduling in advance, co-parents can help to ease the conflicts and confusion that may come when children share two homes. At the same time, flexibility is critical, especially when unexpected events happen. Communication tools can be important in making sure that all this scheduling works. It can be best for co-parents to communicate over email because this provides a record that both parties can check for verification.
Divorcing parents may be nervous about the process of developing a parenting plan and handling child custody. However, a family law attorney can represent a divorcing spouse in order to advocate for custody options that reflect the needs and best interests of the children, protect the parent-child bond and develop a fair custody agreement.