We understand that co-parenting with an ex-partner can be challenging and emotionally draining. Having spent countless hours speaking to clients and hearing their struggles to create a healthy co-parenting environment, we have discovered some strategies and resources to make the process less emotionally taxing and ensure that the best interests of the child are paramount.
What is co-parenting?
Co-parenting is a post-separation or post-divorce parenting arrangement where both parents continue communicating with one another in relation to the children to ensure their best interests are met.
Co-parenting involves both parents taking joint responsibility for the children’s long-term care, welfare, and development and communicating with one another about the children’s education, health, well-being, and extracurricular activities.
How do you co-parent effectively?
Effective co-parenting involves open communication, mutual respect and a commitment to putting the needs of the children first and making decisions in their best interests.
The following tips for better co-parenting are tips we have learned along the way and have assisted our clients in learning to co-parent and navigate a separation or divorce with children. However, this is not professional advice.
We recommend that you seek additional resources and further information from a qualified therapist, counsellor, or psychologist to find out what works best for your situation and your family dynamic.
Tips for co-parenting effectively
- Try to be flexible.
- Try to accept different parenting styles.
- Never denigrate one another in front of the children.
- Consider your children first – make sure your children are your number one priority, and make decisions in their best interests.
- Develop a co-parenting plan with the help of a mediator, lawyer or counsellor.
- Regularly communicate with your co-parent and keep them up to date about any upcoming events or plans.
- Create a shared calendar to keep the other parent in the loop about upcoming events or important dates regarding the children.
- Be prepared for some challenging feelings – It may not be easy to let go and accept that your child will not always be with you as they will be with the other parent. It is okay to feel loneliness, disappointment or a sense of loss. If these feelings persist and become overwhelming, talk to a professional.
- When you are not with your children, please make arrangements to keep in contact with them, for example, by organising telephone time, video calls or texting, and emailing the child or other parent.
- Join groups for separated parents and seek the support of others.
- Give your children as much structure and consistency as possible.
Parenting After Separation Courses
- Parenting after separation – The Parenting After Separation Course helps separated parents prioritise their children as they navigate important decision-making in their post-separation relationship.
- Breaking the Cycle of Conflict – This course helps separated parents learn to minimise disputes that impact their ability to co-parent. The course provides parents with practical advice to help them understand the source of conflict in their relationship in order to learn to co-parent effectively.
- Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) – This program is designed for parents with children aged 3 to 8 years old. The course provides simple and practical tips to help parents manage children’s behaviours, prevent problems from developing in the future, and build strong and healthy relationships.
At Tajik Lawyers, we recommend that parties undertake mediation and have parenting arrangements documented in writing by way of a parenting plan or an Application for Consent Orders and Consent Orders sealed by the court.
For more information, please get in touch with our Family Lawyer to arrange a consultation.