Here’s how to develop a solid co-parenting plan you both will follow and that everyone can enjoy.
Be practical and precise. Leave the emotion out of discussions and decisions as much as possible. “I also suggest that communication between the parties be in a written form,” says Steven J. Mandel, a family law attorney in NYC.
Skip the good-cop, bad-cop scenario. It’s very common for kids to play the “mommy vs. daddy” game. “That is why it is in the best interests of all concerned for everyone to be on the same page,” Mandel says.
Make kids feel treasured. Kids should feel like both parents are choosing to spend time with them. “We use the words who ‘gets to’ be with [our daughter] rather than who ‘has to’ be with her.” Klein says.
Be accommodating. Life happens and sometimes you will need to swap times. Do your best to always be gracious about it.
Remember: You will be in each other’s lives—for life. “Just because it didn’t work out for us doesn’t mean we have to be mean,” Klein says. “The happier we are individually, the happier we all are as co-parents.”