Co-Parenting After Divorce
How Does Co-Parenting Work?
When you and your co-parent agreed on your custody arrangements, you created a parenting plan, which outlines:
- A parenting schedule, including holiday visitation details
- Drop-off and pick-up locations and times
- Custody alterations with regards to relocation or modifications that may be made in the future
- Expense plans as it relates to medical, educational, and other financial considerations
Co-parenting is never easy even for parents who split amicably. You may disagree because of miscommunications or surprise expenses as you work to raise your child(ren) together.
Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce
Making joint decisions, managing your kid’s schedules as well as your own, and even just interacting with one another can be a challenge. However, while you and your ex may not always see eye-to-eye, you both care deeply about your children and want to act with their best interests in mind. Here are some tips to help you co-parent successfully.
- Refer to your ex as your co-parent. While this may seem simple or trite, simply changing how you address your co-parent can help with your attitude towards them. Your relationship may be over; you are still a family and have years of being in each other lives ahead.
- Call a truce with one another. Set boundaries (with yourself and if possible, with one another) concerning how you want to act with one another and try to take the high road during disagreements. Arguing in front of your kids can negatively influence their behavior and relationship with either parent. Kids can also read body language and may eavesdrop on conversations you have concerning your family or relationship.
- Communicate with each other. So, you both have a clear picture of what’s going on in your child’s life (i.e. in school, with activities or friends, etc.), be sure to communicate without using your child as a middleman. Since your child is living in two homes, you cannot always know if what the other child is telling you is true. Children may try to slant, embellish, or exclude information and stories about what happened at the other home.
- Prioritize consistency. Both parents should aim to be consistent in terms of schedules and routines and maintaining similar routines in both households can help provide structure and discipline.
Are Co-Parenting Apps Worth It?
You know what is best for you, your child, and your unique family situation; while these apps are not a guarantee that everything will get better, many co-parents streamline and structure their relationship by using co-parenting apps. Here are seven popular apps that may help with scheduling, communication, or relational issues you may have.
- Our Family Wizard. This app was created by divorced parents and aims to help parents, children, and other third parties (such as therapists or mediators) manage schedules, track expenses, and communicate with ease. Communication is also improved as users can opt to add on the ToneMeter, which suggests edits (like Grammarly) to soften or improve your message’s tone.
- Cozi. This free app allows parents to create shared calendars/events as well as shopping and to-do lists. You may consider using this app if you and your co-parent struggle because of miscommunications.
- 2Houses. This app is also great for organization as the app aims to house and organize messages and notes for both parents in one place. From school and medical notes to simple instant messages, co-parents can utilize this app to communicate more productively.
- Custody Connection. This app allows for couples to create a shared, sync calendar, and a unique feature is that you can submit requests for trades or alterations through the app’s system. Note: this app is only for Apple users.
- Google Calendar. If you both have a Gmail account, you can sync your calendars with Google Calendar. With this calendar, you can also include notes or updates to each event; you can also sync reminders and tasks within the calendar. This is a great free option if you simply want help with scheduling.
- Coparently. This app acts as a catch-all for parents and includes a shared calendar, messaging system, expense tracker, and a contact directory. Guest access can be granted to third parties, including lawyers, therapists, or grandparents/family members.
- Support Pay. If you all disagree because of finances, this app can help you as you can submit receipts, transfer money (without sharing bank information), and track tax deductions. Both parties can also ask for mediation services through the app if needed.
Contact Our Child Custody Attorney
At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, our attorney has over 33 years of legal experience and has helped parents successfully settle custody disputes. If you need help with a child custody matter including litigation related to establishing or modifying orders, you should retain our firm. We can help you protect your parental rights and fight for the best interest of your child and family.To schedule a case consultation, please reach out to us online or at (727) 312-1112. While child custody disputes can be heated and stressful, we are equipped to help our clients reach an agreement while minimizing the stress and strain of the case.