Virginia couples who have young children and who are getting a divorce might be concerned about co-parenting. There are several steps they can take to do so more effectively. Communication is important. This can be hard, but they should not make their children into messengers. Text, email or online tools can be used if in-person conversations are too difficult. Other options are to take a co-parenting class or to go to family therapy.
While there will probably be a parenting schedule, parents should try to be flexible about it. This means that if one parent has the opportunity to take the child to a fun activity during the other parent’s time, the other parent should consider allowing it if it will make the child happy. However, parents should try to provide their children with consistency as well. They should make an effort to have the same rules in both households. This can help children feel more secure after the upheaval of the divorce.
A parent should try to encourage children in their relationship with the other parent. This includes avoiding negative remarks about the parent. Parents should also make an effort to share aspects of the child’s life that the other parent may miss. For example, the parent could snap a photo of a piece of artwork by the child.
Before they get to this point, parents will need to negotiate an agreement for child custody and visitation or go to court where a judge will decide. A judge will make a decision that is in the best interests of the child, but parents may be happier with a solution they come up with. Parents usually share legal custody, which gives them the ability to make decisions about the child’s education, health care and other major issues. but sharing physical custody as well is becoming more common.