Even if you do not particularly like your ex-spouse, if you have children together, you are probably co-parenting. Child custody agreements in North Carolina and across the country require continued communication to work well, and parents must be responsible enough to abide by the requirements set forth in those legal documents.
Professionals say there are a few tips and tricks to making your co-parenting experience easier. First, attorneys say you should comply with your divorce agreement. You spent a long time hammering out custody provisions, and you need to abide by them. Otherwise, the other parent may get upset, and the tension could spill over to the kids. If you are having difficulty complying with the agreement, set up a mediation session to discuss changing the requirements.
Sometimes special considerations have to be made. Maybe you have a work conference that conflicts with the custody agreement, or your ex-spouse has an emergency that requires that you take the kids. Although not all circumstances can be foreseen, try to plan as far in advance as possible. That way, there are fewer surprises, which is better for everyone.
Next, professional say you need to make sure that you tell the other parent about significant changes in your child's life. If there is trouble at school, for example, both parents need to know so they can work toward a solution.
Finally, you need to cooperate with your spouse when the custody transfer takes place. Always be on time. If you are unreliable, your ex will be anxious and upset, and your child will be even more affected. Respecting the other person's time and commitments will make co-parenting much smoother. Also, when making the switch, be sure that both parents are responsible for the contents of the child's overnight bag. That way, your children have all of their homework, toys and supplies. Taking an extra minute to make sure everything is packed can save you the hassles and worries that often accompany custody transfers.
Co-parenting after a divorce can bring challenges for North Carolina parents, but with a little forethought and preparation, the process can be very successful.
Source: Huffington Post, "The 5 C's of divorced co-parenting," Marie Hartwell-Walker, July 6, 2012