Successful Co-Parenting With Your Ex
Posted: 28th August 2019
Posted in: News
Posted by: Fiona Browne, Associate
Co-parenting with your former partner can be challenging. There may be feelings of animosity between the two of you which result in co-parenting arrangements breaking down. Whether you separate or divorce, you still have parental duties and responsibilities to fulfil. A successful co-parenting relationship with your ex is in the best interest your child.
How To Have a Successful Co-Parenting Relationship
Put The Arrangements In Writing
Create a Parenting Plan. This is a less formal way of making arrangements for your children. A Parenting Plan is a written agreement signed by both parents that demonstrates your commitment to abide by the agreed terms for the children. It is important to consider that Parenting Plans are not enforceable by the Courts.
Seek a Parenting Order. To make the arrangements legally binding, you can apply to the Family Court for Parenting Orders. If both parents agree, the arrangements can be documented using an Application for Consent Orders.
If a party breaches a Parenting Order, the other party can file for a Contravention Application. This means that the Court can take further action to enforce the Parenting Orders.
Related Articles: What Are Consent Orders, Parenting Plans and Parenting Orders?
Be A Little Bit Flexible
A bit of flexibility by both parents benefits everyone. For example, avoid getting upset when your former partner is occasionally late for pickups. Instead, be ready for alternative plans. As long as not done deliberately and it doesn’t happen too often, be forgiving and opt to speak with your former partner about it.
Keep Your Ex Updated
Share important events in your child’s life with your ex. Use a shared online calendar or app that lists your child’s schedule. It will benefit your child greatly when they know that both parents are involved in their special events.
Encourage Your Child To Stay Connected To The Other Parent
Alienating the other parent will do more damage than good. Stay positive when the child comes home and speaks to you about their time with the other parent. Encourage them to send messages or call them. Keep the lines of communication with the other parent open.
Never Bad-Mouth The Other Parent
Don’t let relationship issues creep into your conversation with your child. Your child does not need to know details about why their parents are not together, especially if they are too young to understand relationship dynamics.
Plan Tasks, Activities and Events Ahead
Ask your ex to be involved or take responsibility for tasks like doctor’s visits, school outings or parent-teacher conference. If you plan to do these events together, talk about how you’ll handle it once you’re there. If you’re unable to go together, make a plan as to which of you is going to the event.
The Key To Successful Co-Parenting: Focus On The What’s Best For Your Child
Ultimately, when discussing child-rearing problems and strategies, the best interests of your child should be the focus and priority. Make arrangements and decisions that will work best for your child’s welfare. Make sure that you are doing everything possible to facilitate and encourage the relationship between the other parent and the child. Make sure you put the best interests of the child before your own.
If you need help about creating successful co-parenting plans, let us know.