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Healthy co-parenting after a divorce

Divorce is challenging for Michigan couples, but sometimes they are so focused on their own needs and grief they forget about their children's best interests. Child custody is a major decision in the divorce process, and the healthiest outcomes are those in which the parents take a co-parenting approach to keep the negative effects to a minimum.

According to Psychology Today, parents are encouraged to organize schedules by designing a co-parenting plan. Based on what is best for the child, this plan outlines what days each parent has physical custody, the activities of the child, how information will be exchanged, how decisions about the child will be determined and how the parents will resolve disputes. The plan should be in written form and disbursed to all family members so everyone is on the same page.

Parents may include specific guidelines in the plan to help them keep their own issues away from their parenting time. These guidelines may include:

  • Avoiding involving the children in arguments between parents
  • Avoiding condemning the other parent¬†
  • Respecting the other's rules
  • Being flexible with the schedule when necessary
  • Outlining open communication with the children

According to the Huffington Post, communication with the children is a big conflict in many shared parenting situations. It makes everything harder for both the parent and the child when they are not allowed to talk when in the custody of the other parent. It is recommended both parents decide what is appropriate in terms of texting or calling so the child is able to communicate even when not in the physical vicinity of the other parent. This may include daily communication or other arrangement that works for both parties.

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