On behalf of South Tampa Law Group on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
As a divorced parent, you understand the importance of protecting your time with your kids and making the most out of the opportunities you have for parenting time. Many Florida parents find it best for their children and themselves to co-parent after divorce. While this is often the most beneficial option for children, it is not always easy for you as the parent.
Co-parenting can be a difficult process when you and your ex-spouse do not see things the same way or there are still hard feelings between the two of you. There are ways you can strive to co-parent well in order to protect the best interests of the child. The ultimate goal of any type of parenting plan is to protect the best interests of the children above all else.
Tips for working together
Children need stability and security, but they do not necessarily need their parents to like each other in order for co-parenting to be successful. With a little effort and the implementation of a few tips, you can make the process of working with your ex-spouse a little easier for yourself and the rest of the family. Some of the things you can do include the following:
- Strive to communicate and work together – You can avoid many problems simply by communicating with the other parent. Be willing to talk openly and honestly, even working together, for the benefit of the children.
- Recognize the importance of the other parent – Children need both parents, and one is not necessarily more important than the other. Recognizing this fact can foster respect and a willingness to work together.
- Do not use your children as pawns – Children should never feel like they are in the middle of a battle between parents. Do not ask them to report back to you or speak ill about the other parent in front of the kids.
Your actions matter, especially for your children. When you strive to make co-parenting a better, easier process, your kids will benefit.
Still protecting your parental rights
One of the most important steps to both protecting your parental rights and making a co-parenting plan work well is by drafting a strong custody and visitation agreement. When you include clear terms in your parenting plan, all parties will clearly understand their rights and responsibilities. This will greatly reduce the chance of fighting, disagreements and complications between you and your ex-spouse in the future.