Life after a divorce or separation can be complicated. When you throw children into the equation, emotions are high and the stakes are even higher. In most situations, parents in New Jersey are responsible for working out a co-parenting plan. Developing a plan is an uphill battle for parents in general, let alone for those with a contentious relationship. But what most people don't understand from the beginning is that the key to a harmonious co-parenting relationship is you and your ex-partner's ability to be adaptable.
In this article, the Lento Law Firm will give you some tips to keep in mind to maximize your chances of achieving a successful co-parenting relationship.
Work to maintain clear and concise communication
When you and the other parent aren't seeing eye to eye, the last thing you want to do is have a conversation. When you're upset, your ability to empathize and be agreeable dwindles quickly. But in the midst of a rough patch, swallowing your pride and communicating in spite of the negative feelings you associate with your ex-partner is a huge step in the right direction.
Parents often make the mistake of using their children as messengers, so to speak. But this isn't a fair expectation for your children (especially if they're young), nor is it an efficient way to convey a message to the other parent the way you intend. A consistent means of communication, whether it be by text, on the phone, via skype, or through email, should be established. In circumstances when parents can't manage to be civil enough to do that, family therapy or co-parenting classes are viable options.
Flexibility is a must
Our lives are unpredictable. Perhaps you've developed a schedule that's been followed for some time now, and the other parent proposes a plan that strays from this schedule in a minor fashion. If this plan is in the child's best interest, being rigid and sticking to the plan isn't necessary. For example, the other parent may have a limited opportunity to take your children to an amusement park on a weekend that your children are supposed to be with you. Even though it may frustrate you to give up your weekend, compromise can alleviate the issues that will undoubtedly arise should you say no. As long as compromise is reciprocal, it can be valuable in maintaining a seamless co-parenting relationship.
Be open to negotiation
In the same vein of flexibility comes negotiation. Parents should be open to renegotiating a child custody plan at certain points. Minor issues can be handled without returning to court, but significant changes like relocation, or a complete redraft of visitation due to unforeseen circumstances, for instance, may be best resolved through a court modification.
Get Started Today
Sharing parenting time is almost always difficult, even for the most amicable co-parents. This is why it's important to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional. Create a solid parenting plan with the help of New Jersey family law attorney Joseph D. Lento. Schedule a consultation today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.