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Make your parenting plan work for you

Co-parenting is much more difficult when the parents are unable to get along with one another. These high conflict relationships are detrimental to the children, however.

Below are some tips to make co-parenting easier for all concerned.

-- Parenting plans should be tailored to the children's ages and then modified accordingly as they mature. Younger kids need plenty of structure and routines, while tweens and teens might do best with a good deal of flexibility.

-- Use third party mediators when you need to have in-person dialogues with the other parent. Mediators can be clergy, social workers or professional counselors.

-- Reiterate to the kids that both parents love them very much. Never speak ill of the other parent in earshot of the kids, and encourage them to visit and interact with their other parent.

-- Limit your communications with your ex to only vital information necessary to parent the children. Use email or a notebook that is exchanged between the adults. Text messages are okay for emergencies, but can be misinterpreted as too blunt or even hostile.

-- Keep your tone civil, businesslike and cordial. Don't allow interactions to deteriorate into screaming or spiteful insults.

Maintaining a relationship with your ex that is free of acrimony might not be easy, but doing so goes a long way toward assuring that your children will look back on their childhood years with fondness instead of feeling as if they emerged from a war zone.

If you experience serious difficulties that cannot be remedied with your ex, consider asking your family law attorney to file for a modification to your parenting plan.

Source: Huffington Post, "What’s The Best Alternative To Co-Parenting When Ex’s Don’t Get Along?," Terry Gaspard, April 01, 2016

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