Co-Parenting Agreement Tips
An individual going through a divorce may be ready to sever their connections with their spouse, but if there are children involved the parenting connection will remain. There are ways to make co-parenting agreements work but cooperation is necessary. Typically, a parenting agreement will outlive the technicalities, including schedules and timelines. Discuss your expectations and where you are willing to compromise with a Bucks County family attorney.
Maintaining Consistency and Communication
A parenting agreement will legally lay out rules for both parents to follow, but there are a handful of ways to make co-parenting work on a personal level, too.
For example, consistency can help kids with the transitions from one house to another. When mealtimes and bedtimes are the same, this can help kids with acclimating to two separate addresses. The child then knows some of the expectations are the same, regardless of which parent’s home they are in.
In order to maintain consistency, there has to be a level of communication between the parents, even if they do not like each other. Talks that are calm, short, and focused on the kids can be constructive as long as other personal issues beyond the scope of parenting do not bubble up. If speaking to one another is too emotional, maybe communicating via text messages or emails would be a better path.
Smoothing Transitions from One Home to Another
For parents who are transitioning children from one house to another, whether that happens within the workweek or on select weekends, there are steps to making the process easier.
Before dropping off a child, remind them a day or so beforehand so they can prepare for the visit. This includes packing a bag in advance and having them be part of that process, so they can include the items they want, from books to stuffed animals.
After the visit, when your child is back under your roof, there are also a few things to keep in mind:
- Begin with downtime. Try to avoid over scheduling kids the moment they return home. Let them relax and get settled.
- Have all the necessities on hand. If a child forgets a toothbrush or a pair of pajama pants, it should not be an issue. Have extras on hand.
- Welcome them home. While kids need space to adjust, just like adults, some children do enjoy a special welcome home. Maybe that is a dinner that is always the same when they return or reading the same book together before bed.
Being flexible is a big part of making a co-parenting agreement work. Talk to a Bucks County family attorney about what schedule shifts are possible, if needed. Remember, the most important thing is that the co-parenting agreement is healthy for everyone involved and benefiting the kids.
If you are going through a divorce, the experienced family attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Let our lawyers take care of all the technical aspects of your divorce and help you move forward with the rest of your life. Schedule your consultation today, call 215-968-6602.