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How to co-parent with shared child custody

Divorce isn't easy for anyone, but those with children have even more issues to worry about. Most Ontario parents working through shared child custody will need to learn how to co-parent effectively. While this can be difficult at first, good habits and a child-centered attitude can help these arrangements to work.

Parents should always keep the children's best interests at top of mind and keep them out of divorce-related conflict. One of the best things to do is establish a co-parenting plan. This plan goes beyond issues of child custody to establish shared ruled and boundaries and communication methods so the child can have a stable and predictable upbringing despite the two households.

It is important to be mature when co-parenting. Even if someone is excited about a new boyfriend and girlfriend, it's best to be deliberate and communicative about bringing that person around the child. It's also important to be honest with children while maintaining tact; insulting the other parent is not a good idea, but giving a child false hope about the parents reconciling can be equally damaging.

Overall, communication is key in co-parenting. This can be a challenge since communication problems are often among the reasons there was a breakup in the first place. Creating a plan early on and using less confrontational methods of arranging child custody times and hand-offs, such as a co-parenting website or app, could be a good option. Ontario parents who need legal support in child custody cases should work with a family lawyer.

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