Being a parent is hard regardless of your marital status. But co-parenting kids with an ex comes with additional challenges. If you are planning to divorce or you are an unmarried parent sharing custody of your kids with an ex, you may already have experienced some of these difficulties. Parents may disagree about parenting time schedules, their child’s education or participation in extracurricular activities, healthcare, and much more.
Every co-parenting relationship is bound to experience problems, but there are steps you can take to lessen co-parenting disagreements.
Disagreements About Child-Related Issues
Parents often have strong opinions about what is best for their children. When parents disagree on what is in their child’s best interests, the situation can quickly devolve into an argument.
Parents often disagree on:
The parenting time schedule – When the child should live with each parent and the overall amount of parenting time each parent enjoys is a common cause of contention.
Childcare – Parents may have different opinions about when third-party childcare providers such as babysitters or daycares should be utilized.
Grandparents and other family members – How much involvement should extended family members have in children’s lives? Parents frequently disagree about the role of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in their children’s lives.
Discipline – Some parents believe that children should follow strict rules and face serious consequences for breaking the rules. Others take a hands-off approach to parenting. This type of inconsistency can be really hard for children to deal with and can also lead to major arguments.
Electronics – How old should kids be when they get their first cell phone? Should children have a screen time limit?
New romantic partners – Divorced parents often want to reenter the dating pool after their marriage ends. Parents may disagree about when it is appropriate to introduce a child to a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
A Strong Parenting Plan Can Help You Avoid Problems in the Future
One of the best ways to avoid co-parenting disagreements is to discuss these issues in advance. Parents who build detailed parenting plans can decide issues before the situation becomes contentious. In your parenting plan, make sure to include details about the parenting time schedule and how parents will determine parenting time for vacations, holidays, and other special events. Write down information about household rules, discipline techniques, the right of first refusal, and other important parenting matters. There is no way to avoid every single conflict, but many parents find that a robust parenting plan can mitigate the amount of disagreement and drama in the family.
Contact a Naperville Child Custody Lawyer
If you are getting divorced or in the midst of a child custody dispute, contact Goostree Law Group for help. Call our skilled Wheaton family law attorneys at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.