If you and your ex-spouse have shared custody of your child, you may be wondering how to navigate the process. Co-parenting refers to taking care of the child in a joint manner.
Figuring out how to co-parent can be challenging, especially if emotions and tensions ran high during the divorce. However, there are some tips to make it less stressful.
Design a parenting plan
The Tennessee State Courts has you design a parenting plan as part of the custody process. This allows you to cooperatively develop a road map for how you will share parenting duties. This plan focuses on the child’s best interest, reorganizes the family dynamic, outlines major decision making and preserves family relationships.
Put aside differences with your ex
Healthline states that successful co-parenting only occurs when you let go of the past. This means focusing on the child and refraining from talking badly about your ex in front of your child.
Practice good communication
Communication is essential when you jointly parent with someone else. Always be respectful, and use concise and clear language. Be willing to cooperate and compromise, and always support each other. Communicate directly with one another and avoid using someone else to convey a message. Active listening is also an important part of communicating.
Outline vacations and holidays
Outside of your day-to-day schedule, discuss who will have the child on which vacations and holidays. Giving advance notice of a trip is important, and try to share holidays whenever possible.
Co-parenting can take some getting used to, but a solid plan and respectful communication go a long way.