Divorced California parents can take steps to try to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship, although it may not always be easy. Most parents want to do what is best for their children, so if they can approach forging a healthy relationship with their exes from the standpoint of putting their children’s best interests first, they may be able to set aside negative emotions about one another for the sake of effective co-parenting.
Divorced individuals should make an effort to treat one another respectfully despite any negative interactions in the past. This includes not being disrespectful about one another in front of the children and not allowing the children to speak disrespectfully about the other parent. This can be challenging when one parent disagrees with elements of the other parent’s lifestyle, but it teaches children an important lesson about being respectful toward others.
Parents should work on their communication skills. This can mean keeping things businesslike if they tend to run into conflict otherwise. As part of the parenting agreement, they may want to specify a way that they will communicate about issues regarding child custody and visitation. There are even apps and software programs that can assist parents with this task that keep a record of written communication. The best-case scenario is that parents can agree on household rules and guidelines. But if they cannot, each parent should encourage the children to respect the other’s rules.
Divorce can be a time of high emotion and stress, but if parents can at least approach child custody in a cooperative frame of mind, it might make co-parenting after the divorce less fraught. Their attorneys may assist with negotiating a parenting agreement. Parents may want to address issues they are particularly concerned about, such as how to handle their child meeting a new partner, in that agreement.