We know that, despite any conflicts between parents, most people love their children and want them to thrive. This is why so many separated parents, along with the California family law courts, often work towards establishing a co-parenting plan. This approach ensures that a child spends time with both parents and is raised in a loving and caring environment.
With that said, co-parenting is much easier said than done. Disputes between parents can flare up, and in some instances people might try to throw their kids in the middle of the conflict. As experienced family law attorneys, we’ve seen a lot of good and bad approaches to co-parenting.
Today, we want to go over pitfalls that we see time and time again. Arm yourself with this knowledge as you look towards working with the ex and establishing a parenting plan that works for you and your loved ones.
Emotional Conflicts and Outbursts
Children are aware, curious, and intelligent. They are often able to understand that Mom and Dad are no longer together and may even accept the fact that there is animosity between them. However, emotional conflict and outbursts are still potentially traumatic experiences that they should never be subjected to. Make sure that you watch your behavior and be mindful of how your actions may or may not be perceived by the ex.
To put it simply, avoid having fights or showing your temper in front of your kids and ex. If the ex gets angry or belligerent, do what you can to remove him/her, yourself, or your children from the situation.
This pitfall is a little less obvious than emotional outbursts. Co-parents often fail to communicate with one another, especially if the divorce is still fresh. Grudges and resentment might keep both parties from wanting to communicate, but ultimately these actions hurt your child more than they help you or the ex make a point.
Put your grudge aside and make an effort to work together. Remember, you and the ex have a lot of logistics to deal with to ensure that your child grows up happy and healthy: school schedules, health issues, pick up/drop off arrangements, and much more. For effective co-parenting, poor communication simply isn’t an option.
Emphasis on the Conflict Over the Child’s Needs
One of the biggest pitfalls that we see is people trying to shove their children in the middle of the conflict. Always remember that they are not your pawns to further your emotional goals or needs, and never make them choose between either parent. Keep your conflicts and disputes with the ex amongst yourselves when applicable. Remember, your goal is to act as a pair of loving parents to your child, and this is one area where his/her needs should always go above your own.
Consult with our Family Law Attorneys Today
While some co-parenting conflicts can be hashed out between parents, others require the involvement of the family law courts in CA. If you need help dealing with a particularly complicated co-parenting conflict, or simply want to recruit assistance to help you create and implement an effective parenting plan, remember that we are here to help!
Call us at the Law Offices of James P. White to learn more about how we can help. Give us a call at 925-271-0999 today to schedule a free initial consultation.