There’s no right or wrong way for Washington parents to raise their children after a divorce. Even if tensions were high during the separation, most parents love their children and want the best for them.
The process of raising children together even after a divorce is called co-parenting. Even if the parents don’t live together or have a relationship with each other, they’ll still work together to raise their children.
Why is co-parenting important?
Co-parenting can help children of all ages. If there isn’t an effective co-parenting plan, it can lead to tensions between both children and parents.
Being on the same page when it comes to how you’ll raise your children can also reduce arguments between you and your former spouse. Fewer arguments between the parents will help the children feel more secure in their family, reducing overall stress and anxiety.
What goes into a co-parenting plan?
Developing a plan immediately after the divorce – potentially during the custody negotiations – can reduce conflict later. The co-parenting plan will address:
• Living arrangements
• Overall rules for the child
• Expectations for various situations
Co-parenting plans should have rules and guidelines for the children to follow at both parents’ residences. For example, if mom says no sugar, that rule should be in effect at dad’s house too.
It might seem silly, but having this strategy to fall back on will reduce conflict years down the line. While a large chunk of planning will come immediately after the divorce, the plan should be revisited as the children age.
What do you need to create a co-parenting plan?
Regardless of how you feel about your ex, you should be willing to communicate with them and compromise for the sake of the children. You might not get everything you want out of the co-parenting arrangement, but it’s important that you and your ex agree on most of the plan.
It takes a lot of time to develop an effective co-parenting plan, but it can make a huge difference in how your children handle the divorce. Every plan will look different, but it’s important to work with your ex to raise your children together.