Co-Parenting 101

parents fighting over child

Custody is one of the most contested aspects of divorce. Neither parent wants to give up time with their child but must do so when they split. However, parenting in separate households can be challenging. In order to provide the best environment for their children, divorced parents must learn to co-parent together.

What is Co-Parenting?

Co-parenting is an agreement between parents that they are going to live separate lives from each other, but they equally share the responsibilities of raising the child. Co-parenting is when the parents of a child decide that no matter what has gone on between that couple, they don’t want their child or children to have their lives disrupted.

Co-parenting also means that the child or children get to enjoy equal amounts of time with each parent. This is also an agreement between the parents to work together on all decisions when it comes to their children.

Successful Co-Parenting

There is no rule book when it comes to co-parenting successfully. What works for one family may not work for another. There are several things that co-parents can do to make the situation easier and less stressful for the children involved.

Think about your child’s experience:

Many children have difficulty adjusting to splitting time with their parents. They can feel scared and angry, and some children feel as though the divorce is their fault.

Consider this when you are gearing up for a fight with your ex or complaining about his or her fitness as a parent. Perhaps more than ever, your children need the support and love of their parents – both parents. Looking at it from their perspective can make it easier to set aside negative feelings and focus on providing a loving environment.


Co-parenting requires communication. And the better parents are at communicating with each other, the easier it can be to work together and resolve conflict.

Not all forms of communication work for everyone, so it is vital to find what works best for your situation. If you are not good at projecting or interpreting tone in emails or texts, discuss important matters in person or on the phone. If you struggle with trust or if you don’t remember exchanges the same way as each other, putting it all in writing can be wise. Whatever you decide, finding a way to communicate consistently and respectfully can go a long way in preventing arguments. Be respectful:

When you respect your ex, it teaches your children to respect others despite any differences that may be present.

Manage your expectations:

Peaceful parenting doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Be patient with yourselves and manage your expectations.

Instead of expecting everything to run smoothly right away, remember that co-parenting is a big adjustment. It can take time to figure things out, and people make mistakes during this time. Rather than assuming everything will be amicable and perfect, be flexible and anticipate some growing pains.

Learn to move on:

Seeing your ex frequently because of the children can be challenging, but things will get easier with time, and everyone will settle into a new routine. Co-parenting peacefully can be an extraordinary challenge, particularly when parents dislike or distrust each other. However, focusing on these goals can allow you to address the situation from a more cooperative and productive position.

Speak to a Child Custody Lawyer Today

Parents who do not get along or trust each other can face incredible obstacles when it comes to co-parenting. Often, parents struggle to get past the bitterness, distrust, or anger they feel toward each other and shift from being romantic partners to being parenting partners.

However, by focusing on a few goals, it can be easier to overcome this challenge.

Whether you decide to co-parent, have a visitation schedule, or seek sole custody in your divorce in Murrieta, the child custody attorneys at Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APCcan help you look at what options are best for you and your family.

Call Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC today at (951) 418-2770 to set up an appointment with our Murrieta child custody attorney.

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