Co-parenting begins once you decide to divorce

It’s a life-changing event, but divorce may be what’s best for you and your future. Should you decide to go down this path, it’s critical that you turn your attention to the well-being of your children. They’re going to face just as much stress and as many obstacles as you.

Co-parenting begins the moment you decide to divorce. You’re still married at this point, but your relationship is nothing like it was in the past.

Here are some tips that can help you with co-parenting before, during and after divorce:

  • Talk to your children together: It may not be easy to do, but both parents should sit your children down and tell them what’s happening. This will work in your favor in the future, as they realize you’re a united front.
  • Don’t discuss the details too soon: As the divorce process begins, you can focus your attention on the details, such as those related to child custody and child support. Don’t discuss these potentially contentious issues too soon, as doing so can result in additional tension.
  • Create a parenting plan: This is one of the most important things you can do. It provides direction on everything from who has physical custody to where your children will spend holidays and other special occasions.
  • Continue to communicate: Many divorced couples struggle with co-parenting because they don’t communicate as often as they need to. Rather than make this mistake, formulate a plan for maintaining an open line of communication. Technology has made this easier than ever, as you now have the ability to use text messages and email should you be unable or unwilling to communicate over the phone or face to face.

There’s never a good time to ignore co-parenting. Should you go down this path, it will affect you, your ex and most importantly, your children.

If you’re struggling with co-parenting as a result of your ex’s unwillingness to cooperate, review your parenting plan and determine what to do next. You may need to take legal action, such as by seeking a modification from the court that issued the original order.