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Things to avoid when it comes to co-parenting

Many divorced parents find themselves in the challenging situation of figuring out how best to work together to raise their children now that they are no longer a couple. One of the things that may help such parents when it comes to co-parenting is coming up with an agreement regarding child custody and other matters involving the children which sets clear and understandable rules and expectations regarding how the co-parenting relationship will work.

Of course, even with a clear and fair agreement in place, there are certain types of conduct by parents that can cause a co-parenting relationship to sour quickly. There are several types of conduct that it is best for parents to avoid when it comes to co-parenting. We will go over some of these today.

One of these types of conduct is ignoring or failing to comply with the terms of child-related agreements you and your ex-spouse reached. This not only can create turmoil between ex-spouses, but can also lead to the person who failed to follow the terms of the agreement facing legal consequences. If a parent feels like changing circumstances have made it so certain terms in the agreement are no longer appropriate, they shouldn't simply stop following the terms, but rather they should look for ways to work within the legal system to address the problems with the terms. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced family law attorney may be able to help a parent seek out changes to a child custody agreement.

Another thing it is important for parents to not do when it comes to co-parenting is allow things other than a desire to serve their children's best interests dictate their co-parenting decisions. Other things that parents may sometimes be tempted to allow to guide their co-parenting decision-making are: anger towards one's ex-spouse, pride, jealousy, a desire to maintain as much control as possible and a desire to "win." Such things can distract from what is truly important when it comes to co-parenting (the good of the kids) and can rather quickly poison a co-parenting relationship.

Source: The Huffington Post, "7 Deadly Sins of Co-Parenting," Valerie DeLoach, June 13, 2014

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