If you are recently divorced or separated from your partner and there is a child involved, you might find that one of your biggest concerns is how you and your ex are going to manage raising your child in two separate households. Although it can be a challenge for some, it is important that if your child’s other parent is willing and able to care for them, that you encourage the idea of co-parenting as both parties play a significant role in a child’s life. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), which operates as an organization for Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, some reasons why you want to establish a strong co-parenting relationship to raise your child include:
- You have the ability to double check what your child says.To be sure your child is telling the truth about something, whether it involve them going to bed at a certain hour or getting their homework done, you can reach out to their other parent to be sure what they are saying is, in fact, accurate. A child can usually detect when their parents aren’t communicating and will sometimes take advantage of this to get away with different things.
- You can feel more involved in your child’s life.Although your child may not be present in your household, you know you can call their other parent at any time to communicate with them or find out how they are doing. Some couples avoid establishing effective lines of communication which makes sending your child off for the week or weekend more difficult for both you and them.
- You are setting a good example for your child.The reality is, not all relationships work out. However, by you working with your ex and showing you respect one another allows your child to see how two adults should handle a situation that doesn’t exactly pan out how they expected.
Now that we have established some reasons why it is important to develop a strong co-parenting relationship, below we share some tips on how you and your ex can make things work so that raising your child in two separate homes is easier on everyone involved.
- Set up a team meeting.Although you may no longer be married or in a committed relationship with your child’s other parent, you stillhave a connection to them as you have a child together. This means you need to set time aside to discuss important things or pressing issues. During this meeting, ACES suggests you establish things like household rules you both can agree on such as bed time, what snacks they should/should not be eating, schedules, etc.
- Discuss what type of parent you strive to be.It is important that you voice what you want your parenting role to be with your ex-partner and they share with you theirs so you can be sure you are both on the same page. This way, if any conflicts should arise, you can address them at that moment. Sometimes, one parent might have certain ideals they believe will make them a good parent and you might not agree with them. However, you will have to cross that bridge when the time comes so that you aren’t teaching your child one thing and their other parent is going against what you say.
- Learn to compromise.There will be times when you and your child’s other parent don’t see eye to eye. However, you will need to find a happy medium between the both of you to avoid conflict and confrontation.
- Avoid arguing about parenting decisions in front of your child.Arguing is never a healthy practice and should be avoided. It is best you discuss your differences in private rather than in front of your child to prevent them from getting upset or causing them to feel as though they brought on the argument.
- Don’t be afraid to compliment your child’s other parent. Although you may dislike them or don’t always agree with their decisions, if your child’s other parent makes a good parenting decision, commend them for it so that they feel encouraged to continue making similar choices that are better for you and your child.
While it sounds easy enough, co-parenting can be tricky and sometimes, you might need a family law attorney in Birmingham, AL to step in if there is a serious issue you and your ex-partner are unable to come to terms on. It is important to understand that just because you seek advice or assistance from a family law lawyer doesn’t mean you are filing a lawsuit or taking legal action, rather, you are merely obtaining help from an experienced and qualified professional who deals with these types of matters on a day to day basis.
Now, if you live in Birmingham and have found that you and your ex are in constant disagreement but want to make the co-parenting thing work, contact the Birmingham, AL family law attorneys at The Zwiebel Law Firm today. This team of lawyers will be sure to provide you with the assistance you are seeking so that your co-parenting plan stands a better chance at working out.
You can reach The Zwiebel Law Firm at:
826 Columbiana Road
Birmingham, AL 35209