Child custody arrangements are an adjustment for everyone in the family following a separation or divorce.
Co-parenting is when you work with your ex to parent the children you share, even though you are no longer together. After you work out a parenting plan through the courts or mediation, keep these things in mind to co-parent amicably and successfully.
Follow the schedule
Your parenting plan will clearly state when the children will reside with each parent. Stick to the schedule and follow through with all exchanges as planned. Deviating from the schedule or not showing up for the children when expected is disruptive for them. Following the schedule provides stability.
Do not badmouth your ex
No matter how badly your relationship ended or how much you dislike your ex, do not badmouth them in front of your children. Reserve the need to vent your frustrations until you are with another adult and your children are not around.
Use written communication if there is tension
If you have a troubled relationship with your ex, try to keep all communications with them to texts or email. In addition to reducing stress by limiting the amount of contact, the written communication will provide documentation of everything you discuss regarding your children. For example, there will be fewer questions or arguments about when and where to meet to exchange the children because you both will have it in writing.
Divorce and separation are hard on children. As they adjust to having parents living in different homes and needing to regularly travel between those homes, keep their well-being first in mind. Focus on providing a stable and positive environment for your children at all times, even when they are not in your physical custody.