Co-Parenting After a Divorce

May 22, 2019

Going through a divorce can be challenging for both parties; however, if there are children involved, then it’s important you consider them first and foremost. For a child, a divorce can be incredibly traumatic. Even if you and your ex-spouse have divorced amicably, the sudden change in their lives can make things extremely difficult for a child. It’s why you and your ex-spouse should work together when it comes to co-parenting. This will help to not only ease the transition from living with both parents at once to having to go back and forth between parents. It will also help them live as normal a life as possible as they grow up.

In fact, many divorce courts will require that you and your ex-spouse come up with a written co-parenting plan. Keeping that in mind, the following are some of the things that you and your ex-spouse should talk about and address in your co-parenting plan:

1. Don’t Speak Ill of One Another

Both parents play important figures in a child’s life. As such, it’s incredibly important that neither parent speaks poorly about the other to the child. You don’t want to try and play the child against the other parent as this will put the child in an incredibly difficult situation. Make sure that you and your ex-spouse agree not to speak ill about one another and that if there are any issues, you speak to each other directly.

2. Don’t Involve Your Child in Disagreements

Agree with your ex-spouse that if there are any disagreements you do not ask the child to choose sides. Any disputes you have with one another should be settled like adults. Do not get your child involved. This will feel like the dispute is their fault and could result in them feeling resentful as they grow older.

3. Establish Visitation and Parenting Time

Arguably the most challenging aspect of co-parenting is figuring out when the child stays with each parent. In fact, many parents can’t agree on terms and often need to get their attorneys involved. Hopefully, you’ll be on good terms with your ex-spouse and you’ll be able to hammer out the details between the two of you. You will need to compare schedules and be accommodating to one another. Be very specific, down to the pickup and drop off times. You will also have to figure out who the child stays with during the holidays.

4. Establish Traveling and Vacation Guidelines

Talk about how you will figure out vacations and traveling situations. For example, you may at some point want to take the child on vacation. Determine how much notice will be required and how long the child can go for.

5. Establish Check-In Times and General Contact Guidelines

Each parent is going to want to hear from their child when they are away. Discuss how often you need to check in with each other concerning where the child is and how the child is doing. This will help put both your minds at ease (the last thing either of you will want is to not hear from the child for days when they are with the other parent). Make sure that you write down whatever terms you agree to.

These are important things to discuss and agree upon when it comes to deciding how to co-parent a child. If you’re planning on filing for divorce in Ohio, make sure that you speak to a reputable Toledo divorce attorney. For a free consultation, be sure to contact Michael E. Bryant today.