Co-parenting is no easy task, especially when your relationship with the other parent has ended and you are living in different homes. Nevertheless, it is very important that you dedicate time and energy towards building good co-parenting skills.
Life will be a lot brighter and less stressful (for you and your child) if you and the other parent can have positive, productive communication and make decisions effectively. This post is designed to provide a few tips for co-parenting from a Virginia family law attorney’s prospective. This information is not intended as legal advice, as every co-parenting relationship is unique. Should you have specific questions regarding your custody or visitation case, be sure to speak with an experienced divorce or family law attorney.
Focus on Your Child.
- Be sure to remember that co-parenting is all about your child. Your child’s best interest should be the focus.
- While it is easier said than done, try not to let emotion get in the way, whatever your personal feelings about the other parent may be.
Set Co-parenting Boundaries (if necessary).
- If you and the other parent are frequently engaged in conflict when you interact, use methods that are less-prone to produce controversy and are more productive.
- For example, if phone calls or in-person discussions often lead to arguments and rarely lead to solutions, consider written correspondence (such as email or text) as a primary method of communication.
Be Responsive and Informative.
- One of the best ways to maintain respect in your co-parenting relationship is to be responsive and informative.
- Do your best to answer calls and respond to emails. Giving and receiving information about your child should be a priority, not a burden.
Avoid Negativity to Avoid Conflict.
- The Golden Rule is important in all aspects of life, but particularly in co-parenting. Complaints, blame, and unwarranted criticism will often degrade your relationship with the other parent and negatively impact your ability to communicate effectively.
- Try and be positive when communicating about your child. If you have a grievance with the other parent, consider offering practical solutions to prevent the issue from resurfacing in the future.
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right.
- Just because the parent of your child is not co-parenting effectively (i.e. they are non-responsive, negative, or constantly sparking controversy) doesn’t mean that you should do the same.
- Which parent communicates the best is often an important factor for a Judge who is considering child custody or visitation issues. Take a look at our Child Custody and Visitation Factors blog post and Virginia Code 20-124.3 to learn more about all of the Virginia child custody and visitation factors (a.k.a. the best interests factors).
We hope these tips will help you in your co-parenting relationship. If you find that your co-parenting relationship is an ongoing struggle, it may be wise to consider speaking with an experienced co-parenting counselor.
If you have specific questions about your Virginia child custody or visitation case, feel free to contact us. The experienced lawyers at BoykoNapier handle divorce and family law matters through Central Virginia, including Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover and the surrounding localities. Contact BoykoNapier at (804) 658-3418, or via email.