It can be challenging to share parenting duties when you and your spouse divorce. Whether you and your ex were involved in a high-conflict relationship or not, having to continue making joint decisions and cooperating with the person you are no longer romantically involved with can prove difficult. However, parents in California can achieve this, even through some conflict, if they choose to focus on their child’s best interests and respect some important ground rules.
A healthy co-parenting relationship
One of the most important things parents should develop after divorce is a healthy co-parenting relationship. This will be the basis for raising emotionally secure and stable children who know they are loved and supported. Some of the things parents can do to achieve this include:
- Showing mutual respect
- Developing positive communication skills
- Actively supporting each other as parents
- Promoting the child’s relationship with their other parent
- Creating a detailed parenting plan
The importance of a detailed parenting plan
A detailed parenting plan will often be one of the cornerstones of successful shared parenting after divorce. A parenting plan should include the parenting schedule and information on handoffs, special dates and exceptions. It can also include information on how to resolve issues as they come up, the methods of communication that will be used by the parents and what the parents will communicate about. It can establish rules that will be respected in both homes, chores to be completed and how discipline will be handled. It can even address how and when to introduce new partners. A detailed parenting plan helps divorced parents avoid unnecessary and often preventable conflicts.
Co-parenting post-divorce might not be easy, but the relationship between the parents can develop into a healthy, respectful one, focused on and committed to the children. Consequently, this parental relationship will help children deal with the effects of their parents’ divorce.