Child custody often calls for co-parenting

Raising a child is a group effort. While the old saying says "it takes a village," most of the responsibility will go to the child's parents. When parents separate or divorce, they will typically create a child custody plan. Since, these days, most parents in California are sharing custody to some extent, this means that parents may need to learn to effectively work together, even though they are no longer romantically involved. 

Some experts recommend separating out one's emotions about the issue in order to get through the more difficult periods of divorce. Keeping one's cool around the other parent helps the two people work together more effectively. Saving emotional outbursts for safe spaces away from the children keeps them from being exposed to turmoil and negativity. Individuals should try to communicate with their ex in the way in which he or she would like to be communicated. Some people find success by approaching communications like a business partnership. 

When parents come together as a team, even though they are divorced, the child usually will benefit. It likely isn't helpful to have the child choose sides or to have the parents on different pages. This can potentially lead to behavior issues. By keeping the focus on the child's needs, co-parenting can be successful. 

Settling a child custody matter is only the beginning of co-parenting with an ex. The decisions that go into the agreement will set the tone for the years to come. Many people in California feel that it is valuable to put their best effort into creating a good agreement. It can prove to be advantageous to have the help of an experienced family law attorney for this process. 

Source:, "Youth Alternatives: Making co-parenting work", Kayla Dixon, April 26, 2018

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