Co-parenting with your ex-spouse is challenging, even under the best of circumstances. Even if you and your former partner agree on the majority of child-rearing topics, disputes are unavoidable.
While you cannot prevent a dispute from occurring, you can take steps to keep stress and worry to a minimum. Accordingly, U.S. News & World Report offers the following co-parenting tips for divorced parents.
Consider time exchanges
Time exchanges occur when one parent drops off a child for the other to pick them up. In many cases, time exchanges take place at your home or at the home of your former spouse. If tensions are still running high, you might not feel comfortable with these arrangements. If so, consider using a neutral location, such as school or daycare, to make the exchange. You can also choose a spot like a parking lot of your local grocery store or some other convenient location to keep tensions to a minimum.
Include the details in co-parenting schedules
Co-parenting plans typically include day-to-day considerations, such as driving children to school and picking them up afterward. However, you must also include plans regarding special events, like summer vacation, holidays, birthdays, playdates, and other considerations. The more detailed your plan is, the less conflict you and your former spouse will face.
Maintain the schedule you agreed to
Once you have established a parenting schedule, do all that you can to stick to it. While flexibility is key if unexpected issues arise, you should maintain the schedule as much as possible. If you anticipate an issue, bring it up with your ex as soon as possible. That way, they can develop a reasonable plan to accommodate the changes and maintain your child’s best interests.