Co-parenting in California isn’t easy, and many parents tend to forget that it’s not about what’s best for them but what’s best for the child. It can be difficult, but you can’t create an effective parenting plan until you put aside your differences and work directly with your former spouse.
How can you effectively co-parent with your former spouse?
When you first start working on a parenting plan, your first instinct might be to write a plan that’s convenient for everyone involved. However, convenience isn’t always the best option. One plan might be easier for you and your former spouse, but if your child isn’t getting the chance to maintain a relationship with both parents, it might be time to look at other options. You and your former spouse should prepare to compromise and make sacrifices to act in your child’s best interests.
On a similar note, you shouldn’t get into a “winning” or “losing” mindset. Child custody isn’t about “winning” the most time with your child so that you can get back at your former spouse. It’s also not about trying to sabotage your former spouse’s life by making them agree to a cumbersome schedule. This applies to you as well; if you feel that your spouse is trying to get revenge on you through the parenting plan, you might want to get your attorney involved.
You also shouldn’t base your parenting plan on changes that have to happen in the future. For example, don’t assume that you’re going to move closer to your former spouse’s neighborhood in a few months to make the transition easier on your child. Anything can happen, and plans often fall through. Instead, base your parenting plan on what’s happening now and make changes later if necessary.
Should you hire an attorney when you write a parenting plan?
If you and your former spouse are having trouble keeping the discussion civil, you might want to get your attorney involved. They could help you write an effective parenting plan that asks both parents to compromise instead of pushing the responsibility on one person.