Co-parenting is arguably the most important part of separating to get right. It can also be the most challenging. To keep things simple, focus on these three guideposts. If you want more detailed advice, check out the Custody X Change guide to mindful co-parenting.
Plan for everything and anything
There’s no substitute for a detailed parenting plan. Agreeing in advance how you’ll handle various parenting situations — and putting the plan in writing — prevents conflict and provides consistency for your children. Whether a mediator helps you agree on the plan or you create it one-on-one with your co-parent, you’ll be glad you did.
Communicate clearly with your co-parent
The frequency and methods are up to you. Maybe you stick to written communication so you have documentation — say, by texting or using a parent messaging tool. Or maybe your relationship is healthy enough for unplanned phone calls. What’s important is that calm communication runs in both directions so you stay on the same page.
Put the children first
Above all, remember that co-parenting is about your kids. Make sure they always feel loved and safe. If you run into friction with their other parent, turn the attention to what’s best for the children. This has the added benefit of modeling cooperation and maturity for your young family members.