Two parents discussing parenting plan

Working to Build a Solid Co-Parenting Relationship

By David Hammond

The bottom line is that you and your co-parent are in it for the long haul. After a divorce, it may feel impossible that you and your former spouse will be able to work together on anything. While it may be true that you will never have a close or overtly friendly relationship, however, it can be important for you both to work out some way to build a solid co-parenting relationship. Such a relationship will evolve and you will likely establish many boundaries along the way, but your child has everything to benefit from a good co-parenting situation and everything to lose from a bad one. Let’s discuss some ways that you can work towards solidifying a positive co-parenting relationship.

Working to Build a Solid Co-Parenting Relationship

The foundation of an effective co-parenting relationship will be your means of communication. This will look different for everyone. Some co-parents may choose to only communicate through a co-parenting app. Others may choose to text, email, call, or talk in person. There is always the possibility that a combination of these communication methods will work for you and your co-parent. It is important to note, however, that any conversations via a phone call or in person should usually be put in writing afterwards. This means writing down the details of what was decided during the conversation and sending them to your co-parent via text or email in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

The means of communication with your co-parent is important, but so is how you communicate with them. Keeping communications positive, or at least not negative, and focused on a specific purpose can be critical to building a solid co-parenting relationship. Snide remarks and other displays of contempt for your co-parent are not likely to be tolerated well for long. They can quickly chip away at your ability to effectively communicate with each other. It can be difficult. It will likely involve biting your tongue on more than one occasion. Just remember what you are doing this for. Your child will reap the benefits of seeing you work together with your co-parent, as difficult as it may feel for you to do.

Sticking to the parenting plan can also play a big role in building and maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship. The details set forth in the parenting plan can set everyone’s expectations and manage them as well. Sticking to the parenting plan helps ensure that everyone is operating in a manner consistent with the expectations established by the parenting plan. When there are deviations from the parenting plan, things can get chaotic quickly. So, as often as possible, stick to the plan. If the plan is not working for your situation anymore, consider seeking a modification to make some changes official.

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About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.