Successfully transitioning into a co-parent relationship takes work

Washington, like many other states, has moved from assigning child custody to embracing co-parenting. This means that when a couple in Snohomish County is going through a divorce they will need to present a parenting plan. The purpose is to make sure that the best interests of the children are met but these plans often create a great deal of conflict for ex-spouses.

Putting aside personal feelings

It is possible for parents to work together but it will take work from each. According to Help Guide.org, parents need to be able to transition from a personal relationship to that of an impersonal one. Similar to a business relationship, a co-parenting relationship should have only one focus and that is on the children. Personal feelings need to be kept out of it.

Often, people going through a divorce are going to have feelings of hurt, anger and resentment towards their exes. However, by inserting those feelings into the co-parenting relationship, it is likely that the children will end up caught in the middle. Parents should make sure that they don't talk about these feelings when the children are around, or involve the children in any disagreements. Instead, parents can vent these frustrations to friends, work on retaining their temper and even engage in exercise, which can relieve stress.

Building communication with the other parent

Parents should understand that they will need to communicate with each other in order to pass on important information relating to their children. However, if parents are unable to talk directly, they can use other methods including:

  • Mediators.
  • Attorneys.
  • Email.
  • Texting.
  • A neutral friend.

Once parents are more at ease, they can initiate a more personal method but even then, The Family Academy points out that parents should make sure that they are using effective communication. Such communication involves keeping the conversation on its focus target, responding in a way that lets the other parent feel recognized and keeping comments centered on how they personally feel or think about the situation.

Keeping to the parenting plan

The Huffington Post says that it is vital for parents to adhere to the agreements made in the parenting plan. When a parent drops off children to the other parent on time or follows the rules made for the children's discipline and schedule, it sends a message that they are serious about being an effective co-parent and that they respect the other parent. This can keep conflicts from rising.

In order to avoid confusion or disagreements, the parenting plan should be precise and provide a set outline for every aspect of child rearing. In addition, there should be a written directive about how conflicts between the parents will be addressed as well as how the plan will be adjusted to accommodate the child as he or she grows. In order to make sure that a parenting plan will be acceptable to the court and is complete, it is important to meet with an experienced attorney.