Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a shared parenting, or co-parenting, arrangement. But, just like anything, co-parenting has its ups and downs. This type of child custody arrangement can be especially challenging when the school year begins. The start of a new school year is a transitional time that has a tendency to be very stressful for both parents and children. Here’s how parents in California can navigate the challenges of co-parenting as schools get back in session.
Active communication is a crucial part of any successful co-parenting arrangement. Cooperation and communication between parents is even more important when school starts as parents will need to coordinate school schedules, school events, parent-teacher conferences and school expenses. Parents need to have clear and understood expectations as the children return to school. Consider a written contract of sorts to list out and to clarify these expectations.
Parents should also work together to set up situations in which both parties win. Parents can set up win-win situations in areas such as transporting the children to and from school, determining arrangements when school is out and determining how each parent is notified about school events. When both parents are involved and included, the children win too.
However, effective communication is not always possible. If communication breaks down and negotiations fail, mediation can be a very helpful solution. Ideally, parents who have a co-parenting arrangement should always keep the children in mind and work amicably toward finding solutions to any issues that arise. Those in California who have questions or need legal guidance regarding child custody may want to consider seeking the services of a knowledgeable and seasoned family law attorney.