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Five ways to build a more effective co-parenting relationship

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Family Law

Once your child custody dispute is resolved, you may think that the worst is behind you. While that may be the case, there’s a chance that you might end up facing ongoing difficulties as you try to navigate your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent.

If you inadequately address the various issues that you face in this relationship, then you could be putting your child’s emotional well-being at risk. Additionally, a contentious co-parenting relationship could lead to allegations of improperly parenting your child, which could drive the other parent to seek a custody modification.

You want to avoid those outcomes. That’s why now is the time for you to find a way to build an effective co-parenting relationship, which is possible even if it doesn’t seem like it.

What can you do to improve your co-parenting relationship?

If you’re diligent and patient, there’s a good chance that you can strengthen your co-parenting relationship, which will take a lot of stress off you and ensure that your child’s best interests remain at the forefront. Here are some tips that you can utilize to build this crucial relationship:

  1. Create a clearly defined schedule: Miscommunications about your child’s events and pickup and drop off times can create a lot of strife in your co-parenting relationship. That’s why it’s helpful to ensure that everyone has access to a shared calendar so that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Be accommodating: If you want to strengthen your relationship with your child’s other parent, then you might want to think about being as flexible as possible with them. This may lead them to be more flexible with you. This giving of grace can go a long way toward building a positive relationship.
  3. Avoid putting your child in the middle: Using your child to get back at the other parent is a manipulation tactic that causes harm to your child and devastates your co-parenting relationship. And this can occur even if you don’t intend to be manipulative. Therefore, you’ll want to be careful about what you say to your child about the other parent. Instead of talking negatively about the other parent, try to encourage your child to build a relationship with them.
  4. Communicate: This sounds simple enough, but it’s actually one of the biggest issues in a co-parenting relationship. If you want to be on the same page as the other parent, then you have to be able to communicate with them. If you can’t talk to them face-to-face or over the phone without getting in an argument, then you might need to consider other modes of communication, like email or text message. Find what works for you and your child’s other parent.
  5. Acknowledge the other parent’s strengths: This can be hard to do, especially if you and the other parent don’t get along, but by acknowledging the other parent’s strengths you may find that they feel more validated and are more willing to work with you. Just don’t go so far as to overinflate their perception of themselves to the point that it’s actually harmful to your relationship.

What do you do if you continue to have co-parenting issues?

If you continue to have co-parenting issues even after trying to sort them out in an amicable fashion, then you may need to take legal action to modify your existing custody order. This will require you to present evidence as to why a child custody modification is warranted, though, which is why it’s important that you retain communications with the other parent and have concrete examples of how their behavior has been negatively impacting your child.