Co-Parenting After a Relationship Breaks Down
Are you going through a separation or divorce and are you considering how to approach co-parenting? Co-parenting can be overwhelming, and it can often be difficult to know how to reach an agreement about child arrangements and decide how you will continue to co-parent and make important decisions for your child or children.
You may have organised child arrangements between yourselves, or perhaps the Courts may have decided on the arrangements for your child(ren) and made a Child Arrangements Order. A Child Arrangements Order sets out with whom children live and with whom they spend time. Such orders usually last until the child(ren) reach the age of 16 however in some instances they can last until the child or children reach the age of 18.
We bring you this article from Bell Lamb & Joynson - our team of family law solicitors are here to advise you on how to co-parent successfully after a relationship breakdown or divorce. We hope you find this useful and if you have any questions or need any advice, feel free to get in touch or continue reading to learn more.
What Is Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting is a term used that refers to the duties of raising a child or children after the parents have separated.
Co-parenting can be an emotional process and it can be hard for parents to discuss their arrangements for co-parenting. Whilst it can be particularly difficult to put aside feelings of anger or resentment, especially after the breakdown of a long-term relationship, your child’s best interests must always be a priority and you should always bear in mind, that children have a fundamental right to a relationship with both parents, which is enshrined within the Children Act 1989.
It is possible for a non-resident co-parent to only see their child or children on weekends, once a week, every other weekend, or once a month. Often, travel is the reason for a parent only seeing their children once a month for example, or if a parent travels a lot for their job.
Provided that both parents are willing to compromise and that you always prioritise the needs of your child(ren), you can successfully make co-parenting work for you and your child(ren).
Can Co-Parenting Be a Positive Thing?
Co-parenting can be a positive solution for separating parents, as it allows you to build a healthy relationship for the sake of your children and encourages open lines of communication.
Additionally, some parents who co-parent report improved communication and a better relationship with their ex-partner which in turn benefits the children of the relationship.
Our Tips on Co-Parenting After a relationship breakdown
Here are some tips on how you can successfully co-parent after going through a divorce or separation.
Put Your Child or Children First
Prioritise your child's well-being and consider their perspective in all decisions.
The needs of you and your ex-partner should be secondary to those of your child. For example, when arranging for your child to spend time with their other parent, consider factors such as proximity to their school.
Be open to listening to your child when they want to talk about their other parent, new partners, or siblings, even if it may be difficult to hear. It is also important not to speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children.
Children need stability and routine and whilst this is important, other issues can arise which can alter your usual routine arrangements. It is therefore imperative that you communicate with your co-parent as much as possible.
Come to Practical Agreements
There is a lot to tackle with raising children, including the boundaries you set. This includes bedtimes, screen times, homework, food, treats and other practical issues.
Having some clear guidelines between you and your co-parent about what your child is and is not allowed is key. This, along with rules, are beneficial for your child so they know what to expect and do not have two different sets of rules or ways to behave.
Ask For Help
It is important to seek help if you are struggling in your co-parenting journey. This may include seeking the guidance of a family law solicitor or a mediator. Asking for help is a sensible approach, and it can provide you with the support you need to navigate co-parenting effectively.
Family Law at Bell Lamb & Joynson
For any family law advice, contact Bell Lamb & Joynson. Dealing with family affairs can be challenging, we understand, which is why we can be by your side through life’s difficulties including when you are going through a divorce or have to co-parent.
Our friendly and specialist family law solicitors are here to help you so contact us today for help and advice. All of our contact details can be found on our website.