There is a lot to consider for a co-parenting relationship to be successful. The most important thing is good communication between both parents. You must communicate frequently and document all decisions you make together about your children.
What types of things should you be discussing as co-parents? Anything that has to do with the health and well-being of your children.
- Living arrangements, including regular parenting time, birthdays and holiday custody
- Transportation as kids move from one home to another or to and from after-school activities, as well as specifics about how the kids will be contacted when away from one parent
- Any education, health or faith-related topics, such as homework, immunization schedules or religious study schedules
- Financial responsibilities, including who is claiming the tax credit for the child as a dependent
- Guardianship agreements in the event of the death of a parent
- How to handle emergency notifications in the event of an accident or last-minute change of plans
- Rules and routines that will be enforced consistently at both households, such as bed, bath, meal or homework times
- Boundaries and behavioral issues that will be enforced consistently at both households, such as whether kids will have access to social media
- Relationships with friends and social activities, such as deciding when a child is old enough to go on a date
- A change to a parent’s living situation or a new significant other being introduced into the picture
It is helpful to schedule regular parenting nights to discuss your children’s progress together if your relationship allows. Electronic communication is an option if the relationship between the parents is hostile.
While text messaging can be helpful for communication, it’s often not the best way to share crucial co-parenting information such as an upcoming doctor’s appointment or vacation dates for next summer. Email or a service such as Talking Parents is a far better way to keep organized, documented records of all decisions made about the children.
Co-parenting isn’t always easy, as we talk about in our blog entitled What Co-Parenting Is Not
, but it can have numerous benefits for your children in the long run if you can commit to a professional, respectful relationship. You can learn more about the Pros and Cons of Co-Parenting
and work with a family counselor and lawyer to set up the right parenting agreement for your family