132 Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced and Separated Parents

Co-Parenting Tips during and after divorce

Unless there are extraordinary circumstances in your marriage and your divorce, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, courts lean heavily in favor of both parents playing active roles in their children’s lives after divorce.

While nice in theory, sometimes co-parenting is easier said than done, especially after a contentious end to a marriage.

Making decisions in a co-parenting environment is challenging.  But there are steps you can take to minimize conflicts and develop routines that will create an amicable atmosphere for your sake and the sake of your children.

Here are useful tips to help guide you as a co-parenting mother or father.

Communicating with Your Ex-Spouse

1. Listen.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just shut up and listen.  Angry listening is okay if that’s where you need to be.  But think hard about responses before you engage.

Don’t tune your ex out, or you’ll never make progress on the co-parenting issues you need to resolve.  Listening doesn’t signify approval.  It signifies maturity and flexibility.

When it’s time, you’ll get a chance to express your point of view.  But in some instances, simply STFU.

2. Give the other parent the same level of information that you would expect to be provided to you.

Common courtesy is a great way to keep things amicable.  Once you set the ground rules about what level of information should be shared, stay consistent, and do not weaponize withholding information as a means of control.

3. Keep “kid conversations” focused on “kid issues.”

It’s easy to switch subjects, especially if something has been simmering in your brain for a while.  Resist the urge to muddy the waters until your child-related matters have been resolved.

When you switch gears to a prickly subject in mid-conversation, you risk undoing any positive discussions you’ve had about your children.

4. Don’t use your kids as messengers.

That’s a chicken thing to do.  Man up, or woman up, as the case may be.  Placing your children in the middle adds stress to their lives, increases the potential for the wrong message being conveyed, and abdicates a responsibility that rests squarely on your shoulders as a co-parent.

5. Make requests instead of demands.

Tone matters, and when you charge into parenting discussions with your spouse like a bull in a china shop, you’re only going to make things worse.

Try framing things as, “Would you be willing to give up Thanksgiving Day in exchange for taking the kids on Christmas eve, even though we’ve worked out other arrangements?”

6. Don’t dredge up past problems or touchy subjects related to the kids.

Stay focused on the present so that you can solve the issues at hand, instead of creating more tension and concerns than you started the conversation with.

7. Stay away from the blame game.

If you criticize, accuse, or blame the other parent when it comes to your children, you’re going to get angry and make matters worse.

Watch out for statements that lead with “You never…” or “You always…” as red flags that you may be slipping into a negative discussion.

8. Set your anger and hurt aside.

Being an adult is hard.  Being a parent is infinitely harder.

Part of being a parent means you must set aside your emotions for the good of your children.  That applies when communicating with your ex so that you don’t reach decisions from a place of pain.

If your divorce has been particularly ugly, it can be especially hard to do.  That’s understandable.  But when anger and hurt are part of the equation, resolving issues with your children tends to be worse, not better.

9. Don’t weaponize your children against your spouse.

You were married to that other person for a while, and that means you probably know what buttons to push to get a rise out of them.  Some of that may be inevitable.

When you weaponize your children as a way to inflict emotional pain on your ex, not only are you not playing by the rules, that pretty much makes you a crappy human being on all counts.  Flinging insults and offloading bad feelings is one thing, but using kids as bombs and bullets should be off the table in all rules of engagement.

10. If you need to vent, do it with someone else.

That lump you get in your throat every time you talk to your ex is real.  Don’t deny it.

But also don’t allow it to cause you to recoil in fear and lash out to protect yourself when you talk to your ex.  You will have to offload emotions somewhere, but don’t do it with your former mate.

They don’t care, and you might say something you regret or can be used against you in the future.  Instead, talk with friends, family members, or a therapist to exorcise the demons inside of you.

11. Focus on the higher purpose.

You may lose the battles sometimes, but the goal is to win the war.  In the overall scheme of things, think about how each decision impacts the overall wellbeing of your children.

You may not get your way this time around. Still, if you remove the emotion in conversations with your ex and focus on the higher purpose of making sure your children come first, you can fight harder for the things that are important to you and the good of your children.

12. Pick the right times to communicate with your ex.

If you’ve had a crappy day at work, your car blew up, or you stepped in dog poop while at lunch, it may not be a good time to chat with your spouse about sensitive issues related to your children.

You’ve got to be in control, stay focused on the issues, and practice cordiality, respect, and neutrality in your interactions with your spouse.  If they call at a bad time, let them know that’s the case, and pick a day and time when you’re in a better mood.

13. Realize that your problems are no longer your ex-spouse’s problems for the most part.

If that car repair bill ran $2,000, or that dog poop ruined your best pair of Louboutins, it’s not your ex’s problem.  You can mention it in passing, and you can expect a cursory, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” as a response.

But your ex is dealing with the challenges of their own world.  When you separated, you also separated your problems as well, except for those associated with co-parenting.  It’s best to stick to your children and your parenting issues.

The exception to that is if what happened in your life affects your ability to meet your co-parent obligations.  If that $2,000 car bill means now means no trip to Disneyland or that child support may be a week late, then communicate it along with the promise to do your best to make things right and stay on track.

14. If possible, try to improve your relationship with your ex.

To make for a more stress-free co-parenting arrangement, it’s best to try and improve your relationship with your ex.  Rebuilding trust is hard.  That’s no lie.

But when you’re able to do so, you’re helping yourself by reducing anxiety bubbling just under the surface in all that you do.

To start the rebuilding process, when your spouse asks for a small favor, grant it.  A drop-off is running late due to a special event or traffic.  Make it no problem.

If you’re stuck on a parenting issue that your spouse normally handled when you were together, as for his or her opinion, doing so shows you value their input.

Apologizing for transgressions, even from long ago, is always a good move, too.  Just make sure you’re sincere and not playing a head game to win some sort of advantage.  Keep it short, to the point, and then move on.

15. Don’t push buttons and know when your buttons are being pushed.

You lived with this person for several years before your divorce, so it’s only natural that you know what each other’s triggers are.

Be a good human being, and don’t use that against your ex when talking about co-parenting issues.  Similarly, recognize what your triggers are and don’t get sucked in if your ex-spouse pushes your buttons to get a rise out of you.

16. Don’t use profanity or make rude, mean, or sarcastic comments about the other parent.

It only adds to the ugly, and it makes you sound bitter — tone matters as much as the words you use.

Keep it classy.  If you need to, play out those kinds of comments in your head, but edit heavily before those words reach your mouth.

Here’s a better idea…use respectful words such as “please” and “thank you” every chance you get.

17. Think in terms of running a business.

If it helps and you’re wired that way, when you talk to your ex, consider that you’re running a small business.

Managing the affairs of your children is similar to finances, long-range planning, personnel, and strategic direction for the good of the family business.  You and your ex are co-CEOs, and your children are key employees (they’re much more than that, but go with the concept here).

Apply business logic if you find other strategies aren’t working.  That can also help remove high degrees of emotion, too.

18. Communicate as if a judge or attorney might also hear or read your comments.

Even after divorce, co-parenting arrangements can be modified.  Communicate cooperatively and amicably as if court officials might use your messages to judge you because they just might at some point.

19. Respect the other parent’s co-parenting time with your children.

That means limiting communications through emails, texts, and phone calls to a minimum, other than to coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs.

Find a neutral time for weightier communication issues, such as when kids are at school or with grandparents.  Also, learn which form of communication works best and try to stick with that.  Some parents work better with texts, others with emails, and so forth.

20. Don’t email or text in all CAPS.

It conveys ANGER.  It conveys SHOUTING!  It stirs the pot.  It DOESN’T HELP.  Even if you are angry, measure your words and stick to upper and lower case.

21. Keep co-parenting emails brief and limit the quantity.

Unless there’s an emergency, don’t engage in a tit-for-tat permanent record.  Emails should relate to specific subjects about present or future activities.

Do not rehash old feelings or emotions.  Don’t criticize.  Limit discussions on financial matters only to the issue at hand, i.e., “I’m signing Johnny up for baseball this weekend.  The cost is $200, and you agreed to pay half.  Please send me the payment as soon as you’re able.  Thank you.”

22. Don’t jump to conclusions.

When in doubt, ask.  Making assumptions can quickly lead to flashes of anger.  For no good reason at all.

Be cool until you know for sure what your ex is telling you.  Overreacting is bad.  Appropriately and firmly responding when you disagree is good.

This one may take some practice to master.

23. Remember that your goal is to communicate.

You are effectively co-parenting when you are exchanging information.  Be brief, concise, and thorough.  Be responsive to questions.  Ask questions if you aren’t sure about something.

And for Gawd’s sake, keep those “I never liked your mother!” comments to yourself.

24. Set communication ground rules when it comes to stepparents.

This one can be a prickly subject on many levels.  Unless otherwise agreed, keep communication between you and your spouse when it comes to your children.

That may relax over time as new routines are established, but starting out, keep exchanges direct.

Resist using a stepparent as a shield too.  That’s sure to breed resentment as well.

Stepparents should not send emails unsolicited.  They should not be copied unless necessary in emails sent to the other parent.  Don’t CC them, but if you choose to blind-copy (BCC) your spouse or significant other on an email to your co-parent, that is your business.  Just recognize the risk.

25. Channel your inner Aretha Franklin.

Communicate with R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Expect the same in return.  End all texts, calls, and emails that don’t follow this simple edict.  Try again later.

26. Take the high road, especially if you’re the primary custodial parent.

Unless there are legal reasons for limiting contact, do your part to make sure your children are engaged with the other parent, especially if you’re the primary custodial parent.  Nurture the child’s right to have that other relationship.

You don’t have to go overboard, but you also don’t need to throw up roadblocks either.  Don’t be shitty about this.

Encourage contact, especially around the holidays, or when something special happens. (i.e., scoring the winning touchdown, losing a first tooth, getting an “A” on a big test, dating a boy, prom, etc.).

27. Provide lots of advance notice for big events involving your children.

If there’s a school play, an awards ceremony, or other significant life events happening, get it on your co-parent’s radar as soon as possible.  That is more critical the further away that they live.

Don’t deny access through non-communication.  You’ll build a lifetime of resentment if you do.

28. Maintain communication boundaries between your ex and your children.

If a child wants to have a private conversation with your ex, do the right thing, and facilitate the request.

If your daughter wants to talk to mom about “boy” issues, gladly set up the ability to do so.

Each child will gravitate to a specific parent in many cases.  Not allowing access or private communication and a private relationship is damaging.

If a child needs to tell you something from a private discussion with the other parent, they’ll do so when they are good and ready.

29. Do your part to communicate, even if the other parent does not.

You can’t control the actions or responses of an ex, but you can control how you act and communicate.

An uncooperative ex-spouse does nobody any favors, but as long as you do your part and fulfill your mission to convey critical information, that’s all you can do.

The other parent runs the risk of causing damage to whatever relationship you have remaining with them.  Children will also catch wind of their antics, and that will cause problems as well.

30. Don’t blame your ex if your communications with your children change over time.

When kids are younger, parents are their entire worlds.  By the time they hit middle school, the need and the urge to start pulling away and making their own lives starts to shift dramatically.

If you’re noticing a distance between you and your children, it could very well just be the natural order of things.

Check in with your spouse to see if they’re experiencing the same thing (after 12 years old or so, it’s a good bet they are).  Recognize that as the nature of your relationship with your children changes over time.  Your need to communicate with your ex-spouse does not go away, but it will change as well.

Communications with Your Children

31. Tell your children you love them.  Do it often.

It sounds simple, but sometimes as parents, we forget the most basic of all messages are the most important of all messages.

Don’t be stingy telling your kids you love them.  They need to hear it more than ever.

It provides a level of reassurance at a time when their whole world has been turned upside down.  Be sincere, and remember the three little words of “I love you” can have a positive and profound effect on your child like no other words can.

32. Talk to your children about your divorce.

Children are sure to have questions and need reassurance that both parents still love them.  It’s imperative to make sure they understand they are not at fault for the divorce and that they will not be abandoned physically or emotionally.

33. Divorce packs an emotional wallop for kids at any age.

You may think divorce is especially challenging for children at a younger age, but the truth is that divorce carries an emotional wallop for children of any age.

Thoughts, concerns, and emotions may change depending on the age(s) of your children, but all those issues will be present, even after your children are grown and have moved out.

34. Be available both physically and emotionally.

It’s not enough to be physically present.  As a parent, you will need to be engaged on an emotional level and convey your concerns to the other parent based on what you observe and talk about with your child.

The quantity of time spent with children is essential, but quality is even more important.  You must be tuned in to your child’s life and actively involved when they come to you with questions or problems that need to be resolved.

35. Don’t point the finger of blame at the other parent.

You’ll do more harm than good, even if the other parent is clearly deficient in some areas.  Children need reassurance from both parents, and the messages you convey about your ex-spouse will have a direct impact on a child’s psyche.

36. Avoid setting up a loyalty conflict.

Forcing children to choose sides in a divorce in playing hardball with innocent victims.

Just focus on your relationship with your children, be careful with your words, and if you can’t say something nice about your ex, don’t say anything at all.

Some parents act hurt when a child wants to spend time with the other parent, or they may get angry if the child does not heap blame or criticize the other parent.  Don’t do this!

37. What if your ex-spouse is having inappropriate discussions about your divorce?

Call them out on it.  An ex should know better, or they may not care until you step in and set some boundaries.

Regardless, let them know that putting stress on your children this way in unacceptable.  If they continue to be inappropriate, and you don’t, children will eventually see the difference and draw conclusions that will favor your conduct.

38. Don’t ask your children to spy or keep your secrets.

Some discussion about the other parent is normal, and it can be healthy.  But overall, the time your child spends with the other parent is private.

Asking a child to violate that privacy makes you a crappy parent.  Don’t ask them to spy for you, and conversely, don’t ask them to keep your secrets as well.

Instead, focus on your own relationship.  Know that there’s a good chance children will let enough information slip out about their relationship with the other parent to satisfy your curiosity over time.

39. Consider professional help if you see troubling signs when you talk to your child.

If your children are displaying unhealthy attitudes and responses when you talk to them, it could be a sign of deeper troubles.  You may need the help of a child psychologist.  These professionals can stop deeper issues and provide perspectives and solutions that you may be not able to do so.

If you feel the need, also consider a family therapist to help strengthen the bond between you and your child.  When you are better equipped to deal with your issues as well as your child’s, you can move forward toward a healthier place.

40. Don’t let your children “play” you.

Children, without meaning to do so, are masters at manipulation.

You, as a divorced parent, are particularly vulnerable to guilt and will do almost anything to help rid yourself of that awful hangover.  That can create a perfect storm of emotions that will give your child the upper hand, especially when it comes to playing one parent off against the other.

It’s a bit extreme, but the “daddy bought me a pony, so you should buy me a pony,” is a great example of how that might work. Make sure this doesn’t happen by communicating with your ex about how certain situations are handled, what limits are set, and how discipline is handled.

You may be two households now, but you should still be of one mind (more or less) when it comes to the messages you communicate to your children.

41. Continue to refine how you communicate with your child.

Just as children continue to grow and change, as a single parent, you should be doing the same thing in your interactions with them.

Examine your motivations and your messaging.  When you’re part of the problem, do the hard work of admitting that’s the case.  Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Self-awareness is critical.  You could be so wrapped up in your own emotional messes that you might not even be aware of the emotional distress you’re placing on the person you love the most.

Keep Your Messages with Your Children Age-Appropriate

42. Pay attention to levels of emotional development.

Don’t look at a calendar so much as looking at the emotional development of your children and their personalities when deciding what to say and how to talk to them.

Some children are just better equipped than others to handle certain kinds of news, and you, as the parent, need to be the gatekeeper of what those messages are.

43. What to say to a toddler through 5 years old.

The younger the child, the less they’re going to be able to grasp the concept of divorce.  They may only understand that half of the center of their universe is no longer there at any given time.

Processing their emotions could prove difficult if their needs are not met.  As a child approaches three and above, use simple concepts to explain the situation and give them short, clear, and honest answers to any questions they have.

44. What to say to a child who is 6 to 8 years old.

At this age, children form complete thoughts and will convey their feelings without hesitation.

The complex elements of divorce may still elude them, and their responses may be emotionally charged.  Keep in mind that they are forming more relationships outside of the home.

Friends and school mates are taking on more importance, and taking into account how these relationships are impacted are communication issues you will need to deal with as well.

Young school-age children may start to do poorly in school or find ways to avoid school altogether.

They may also lash out in a way that forces parental involvement, perhaps by getting in a fight at school.  Physical complaints may also manifest themselves in the form of headaches, stomach aches, or other similar issues.

Partnering with the school to provide consistent messages and discipline are critical to changing behaviors before they manifest into something bigger.

45. What to say to a child who is 9 to 11 years old.

The cognitive abilities of pre-teens are more complex and developed.

A few will have developed strong wills by this time, made more challenging by the onset of puberty.  Questions to you will be more insightful, and they may lash out in anger or attempt to affix blame on both parents.  That is natural, and while you should acknowledge this way of thinking, you should not nurture it.

Relationships outside the family (friends, teachers, coaches) are more fully developed and become a more significant factor in the child’s life.  Messaging by others will start to have a much more significant influence on how they communicate with you at this age.

Preteens may escalate conflict by actively choosing one parent over another, getting into fights at school, lying, or cheating or completely refusing to attend school at all.  Preteens also tend to internalize a lot of feelings, withdrawing and hiding loneliness or being afraid.

46. What to say to a child who is 12 to 14 years old.

Young teens have mostly started the process of breaking away and forming their independence at this age.

Teens have a much more developed ability to understand divorce at this age.  Puberty is in full swing, and that can lead to emotional outbursts and bouts of depression.

Your patience will be tested, and you will have to be more subtle in your approach when talking to your young teen.  Above all else, and despite what they may say, kids in this age group still need your emotional support as much as ever.

47. What to say to a child who is 15 to 18 years old.

At this age, independence is not only a big deal, it’s healthy.

Kids are fully into developing the skills they’ll need to survive in the world.  Most aren’t there yet, and divorce can throw them a curve.

The need for consistency and reassurance is critical.  Your children will be more tuned in and more tuned out at the same time than ever.  Respect their feelings and emotions.

To fight anger and depression, some will turn to drugs and alcohol, especially if they see you medicating your emotions this way.  Sexual experimentation is also a typical response, like it or not.

It’s challenging to be both a friend and a parent to a child when you’re going through a divorce at this age.  Don’t let your guilt get the best of you and remain firm by setting age-appropriate boundaries.

Letting go is hard under the best of circumstances, but with teens and divorce, it can be an absolute minefield.  Nobody gets it entirely right.

Don’t beat yourself up if you say or do the wrong thing.  Just move on and keep resolving to keep lines of communication open as best you can.

48. What to say to a child who is in college.

Children are at a real crossroads when they turn 18.  They recently graduated from high school or will be doing so soon.   Expectations and managing decisions that will affect their future are as complex as ever.  They may tell you they can handle a full load, but few are entirely ready to assume that level of responsibilities.

It’s more important than ever to separate your anger and frustrations regarding your ex when talking to your adult child.

You could not only be doing damage to your relationship with them but also imprinting how they see their future relationships as well.

Help them transition to full independence, but always be ready to listen and work through problems that will continue to crop up in their lives.

49. What to say to an adult child.

More than anything, you need to be careful about using your adult child as a confidante.

Even though your child is an adult, you’re still talking to them about their mom or dad. Keep that in mind.

Just because your kids are adults doesn’t mean they won’t have strong feelings about the divorce. Have an open door policy when it comes to talking about how they’re dealing with this.

Managing Emotions and Resolving Parenting Conflicts

50. Recognize when hostility becomes abuse.

You can’t help but be emotional when you’re dealing with divorce issues related to your kids.  Often, anger will bubble up, which is to be expected.  There are de-escalation strategies that you should employ, whether you’re the instigator or the recipient.

But when anger crosses over the line and becomes abuse, everyone now has a big problem.

Defining what abuse is will vary from relationship to relationship.  It can be physical.  It can be psychological.  It can last for a short period.  Or it can be ongoing.

The bottom line is that if you feel you’re being abused, seek help.  Immediately.  Hospitals and morgues are full of victims who thought they could endure, or that it wasn’t “really that bad,” Only to discover they were wrong.

51. If you are in immediate danger, call the police.

Better to be safe than sorry.  The police would rather that you err to the side of caution.  Let police sort things out and decide the severity of the danger you’re facing.  Don’t take chances.

And if you can’t wait for the police to arrive, grab your children and leave immediately.

52. For hostile situations, seek a legal remedy.

Courts will quickly grant a temporary restraining order in cases of immediate danger.

While this can’t completely guarantee your safety, it does give you additional tools to use to protect you and your children.  Phone calls, emails, texts, stalking, and unwanted visits can violate a restraining order, and that can land your ex in trouble with law enforcement.

53. Domestic violence will have an impact on custody and visitation.

Courts always put the best interests of a child first.  Where abuse or domestic violence can be proven, it will have a direct impact on custody and visitation rights.  They will either be curtailed, eliminated, or only take place under direct court supervision.

54. Find somebody other than your children on which to vent your emotions.

You will cause severe emotional damage if you download all your adult problems on to your young and impressionable children.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be available to answer their questions and provide reassurance, but losing your cool about your ex in front of them is anything but cool.

Telling your version of the truth as a way to sway them to your side also carries risks.  Children are perceptive.  They will eventually know who’s doing what to who.

55. Do not purposely block or withhold information, possessions, or parenting time as a way to punish your children or your spouse.

It’s childish and makes things worse.  There’s also a good chance your manipulation will backfire as well.

56. Understand your triggers.

When communicating with a spouse, you will probably be able to anticipate what buttons of yours they’re going to push.  You didn’t wind up divorced with this not happening.

When you understand your emotional vulnerabilities, you can effectively prepare to find ways to cope.  Doing so will give you the upper hand, and showing restraint may trigger your ex instead.

57. Monitor your accusatory language.

It’s different for everyone, but phrases that escalate feelings of being threatened will build roadblocks and not roads to the next chapter in your life.

Edit inside your head before your thoughts reach your mouth.  Weigh the consequences of your words, which you can never take back, once spoken.  In the worst case, they can actually be used against you.

58. Choose your battles well.

Don’t fight with your spouse over whether a bedtime should be 7:30 pm or 8:00 pm.  But make your feelings known if a major medical procedure might be on the horizon.

Don’t snipe at your ex for missing a drop-off time by 15 minutes.  Consider laying into them if your child shows up dirty and full of sugar.

Suspected drug use?  Yes.  Fast-food as a treat once a week.  Probably not.

You can’t fight all the battles that are inevitable in parenting, so don’t sweat the small stuff.  Save your energy for the big battles.

Chances are, you’ll need it.

59. If you can’t maintain right now, don’t engage.

If you’re feeling crappy, now may not be the time for your ex to bring up a $3,000 ortho bill or the fact that they want the kids for Thanksgiving, which is always a big deal on your side.

You can’t control when they reach out to you, but you can control when and how you’ll respond, in most cases.  Even 15 minutes can make a world of difference.

Give yourself an adult timeout if you have to.  You’ll be surprised how quickly you can process relationship information and produce a response that will work better for everyone.

60. Don’t let your emotions make promises that you can’t rationally keep.

Flashes of anger or frustration will back you into a corner.

With your pride at stake, you may say or do things that are just plain dumb.  If you feel yourself slipping toward stupidity, take a step back.

Weigh your options and figure out a smart way to go forward.  Also, know that when you make promises you can’t keep, you undermine your ex’s remaining trust in you.

Worse, you can also do damage to your relationship with your children.

61. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know,” when confronted with a challenging emotional situation.

You don’t need to have all the answers at your fingertips at all times.  Your spouse may know more about something than you do, and use this to gain an outcome that favors them.

That’ll just ruin your day while they take their victory lap.  If you don’t possess all the facts, say so.

Agree to get back later on, but for now, “I don’t know,” can buy you the important time you need.

62. Ignorance can be bliss.

If you know you’re going to become turbocharged on a particular subject, stick with high-level points.  If you don’t need to know the gory details of an issue, don’t ask, especially if it will set you off.

Remove conflict by not introducing it in the first place.

63. Don’t wallow exclusively in your own damaged psyche.

Your kids are victims too.

As hard as it is for you to process some things, at least you’ve been on earth long enough to learn a few tricks.  They have not.  Monitor their feelings.  Know when to step in and have a talk.

If they’re sullen or withdrawn, do your job as a parent and either talk to them or distract them with something positive.  The change will probably do both of you some good.

64. Parents hate to see their children suffer, but you can only fix so much at a time.

Parenting makes you fierce.  That’s why you take great offense when your child is psychologically wounded as part of a divorce.

Like you, they will need time to process their emotions.  Forcing the issue could make things worse.

Your child may be in denial or reluctant to talk about divorce, so when possible, let the conversations evolve at their pace.  Just be available to them to provide constant reassurance and to set their minds at ease as much as possible.

65. Less control can result in more problems for your child.

Because children have even less of a say in what happens than you do, they can suffer several many ways.  That can cause depression, loss of identity and self-esteem, poor academic performance, a retreat from their circles of friends, anger, and a host of other physical and emotional issues.

As co-parents, sharing this kind of information is critical to minimizing problems for the good of your children.

66. Don’t lay a lonely guilt trip on your children.

With shared custody, the exchanges can be challenging as it is.  You can only make things worse by laying a lonely guilt trip on your children when you say goodbye.

When you do this, you make your feelings their problem.  Offloading your lonely feelings solves nothing. Do your best to be cheerful with the positive promise of looking forward to seeing your kids soon.

If for no other reason to act this way, consider that when your child shows up in a good mood at your spouse’s, your ex is less likely to come looking for you, and not in a good way.

67. What happens when mommy or daddy gets a new “special” friend?

Resist the urge to be catty, if that’s what you’re feeling.  You may also feel some jealousy or some anger as part of a broader rejection issue.

Your kids will probably have questions as well.  Choose your words carefully, and generally be supportive of the new relationship.

Letting your guard down and accepting this change means you’ll also be less likely to be aced out of the picture going forward.

68. Every emotion a child has is valid.

Expect your child to be overwhelmed at times.  What you may consider irrational could be their way of expressing fears, anger, and depression in the only ways they know how to do.

Let your children know these emotions are normal.  Also, let them know that everybody responds differently and that there are no right or wrong ways to feel.

You can help matters by sharing your feelings as a way of connecting to your child.

69. If you need help dealing with your emotions, get help to deal with your emotions.

You are not a superhero.  You can’t deny how you feel.  You can get stuck at any point along the way.

Sometimes you can work it out.  And sometimes you can’t.

There is no shame in seeking help through counseling.  Losing a spouse while trying to figure out how to be a good parent is incredibly difficult.  Some people can hack it.  Many cannot.

The last thing you want to do is get stuck in an endless emotional rut.  Seeking help is normal.  Not seeking help when you need it is not.

70. As you act, so shall your child.

If you approach problems with a calm and reassuring demeanor, chances are your children will as well.  If you lash out, speak poorly about your ex, assign blame, or demonize the other parent, expect that those messages will be absorbed, processed, and come back out by the little sponges in your life.

Like it or not, you are a role model.

Demonstrating good behavior means they will model good behavior.  Bad behavior will not only get you more of the same, but you will also emotionally damage your child and fill them with anger for years to come.

71. If divorce and loneliness are beating you down and you’re thinking about suicide, get help now.

Call a friend.  Call a family member.  Reach out.  If you’re not willing to share with someone you know, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  It’s staffed 24 hours a day.

Deep down, you know your children need you.  They are always going to need you.  Be there for them, for as many years as you can.

Develop a Comprehensive Parenting Plan

72. Develop a clear and comprehensive parenting plan.

Parental conflicts come about when expectations are not clear about the responsibilities of each parent.  Courts often require a solid and workable parenting plan that has been agreed upon by both mom and dad as a way to avoid future conflicts. It’s a social contract that both parents can point to when disagreements arise.

73. Understand all the elements of a parenting plan.

Here’s a list of several things to consider when drafting a parenting plan:

  • Defining parenting time with your child
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Medical decisions
  • Religious upbringing
  • Health insurance
  • Vacations
  • After school activities
  • Involvement with other adults, including relatives
  • Consistent discipline
  • Holidays and special events
  • Flexibility in terms of the agreement
  • Child support payments

74. Consider using the FASTUR parenting plan, developed by Dr. Isolina Ricci.

Dr. Ricci has created a working model that will help you organize the major components of a parenting plan, as well as putting you in the proper mental frame of mind to create the best possible plan.

  • F – be Flexible and Fair – Sometimes, unexpected situations arise that may require some flexibility in how shared parenting is carried out day to day.
  • A – be Active – Be proactive in solving situations when they arise.
  • S – use Substitutes – Try to find substitutes to solve problems.
  • T – make Trades – Be willing to trade some responsibilities or time with the other parent if needed.
  • UUnderstand and be Understood – Try to understand the situation from the other parent’s viewpoint.
  • Rbe Respectful – Treat your former spouse with respect even if you disagree.

75. Practice quality over quantity.

If you wind up with your children less than 50 percent of the time after figuring out a schedule that works for everyone, understand that quality is probably more important than the quantity of time you spend together.

Putting more effort into the time you have with your children is better than fretting whether or not you’re getting a perfect 50/50 split.

76. Use a 12-month calendar.

Special events happen all year long.  Each side of the family may place different emphasis on particular dates.  For example, Easter may be a big deal on one side of the family, while the 4th of July may mean an annual family reunion that shouldn’t be missed on the other side.

Both parents should be responsible for filling out a long-range calendar.  Doing so well in advance can help both parents spot competing dates and give more time to find a compromise.

Be sure to plug in holiday gatherings, school breaks, vacation plans, and other large chunks of time that may or may not be covered in detail by a parenting plan.

77. Create an extended family member plan.

Unless you’re living isolated from both sides of your family, it’s probably a good idea to consider how extended family members should interact with your children.

For example, Funny Uncle Harry may turn into Creepy Uncle Harry upon closer scrutiny.  Grandparents can play a crucial role in stabilizing a family, providing experience, and a calming influence.  Determine their roles, especially if they will have a part in childcare.

Decide which extended family members have pick-up rights at school and for daycare.  If there’s any pushback from either side, let it go.

78. Parenting plans are a negotiated process.

As in any negotiation, you must decide what is important to you and what you are willing to give up.

Be reasonable and understand you won’t get everything you want or ask for.  You can’t have both Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example.  But maybe you can have Christmas, Memorial Day weekend, and Easter break, depending on what you want to give up.

Practical Matters – Discipline, Doctors, Schools and more

79. Discipline with consistency.

Kids are masters at playing upon a parent’s guilt.  Kids also need to understand that the rules they follow in one house need to be followed when they visit the other parent.  They will try to bend the rules when it comes to playing video games, doing homework, and going to bed at certain times.

The worst thing you can do is try to be the “cool parent” and deviate dramatically from a set of similar guidelines that should be established for both houses.

80. Enforce similar penalties for similar infractions.

This is an offshoot of consistent discipline.  If your child bombs on a test at school and the penalty is no television or video games for two days in one home, then that needs to be the case in the other parent’s place as well.

The same can apply for rewarding good behavior too.

81. Keep a consistent schedule from one home to the other.

You will probably not run on the same schedule as the other parent’s home, but to the extent that you’re able, aim for consistency when possible.

Mealtimes may be thrown off depending on mom or dad’s work schedules, but bedtimes should be the same, getting up on school mornings should be the same, and so forth.

Hopping from one home to the other can be tough enough without introducing radical changes.  Kids thrive on consistency, and keeping them regular helps keep their psyches in order too.

82. Maintain continuity of medical care.

Unless a divorce necessitates a change in health care coverage, it’s essential to try and keep the same primary care doctor for your children.

83. Exchange medical information between doctors in a long-distance situation.

When a considerable distance exists between the two parents, necessitating the need for more than one primary care physician, make sure that records and treatments are sent to the other primary care physician and added to their records as well.  This can also happen in an emergency when a child visits an ER or an urgent care center.

84. Decide if it is appropriate for both parents to attend your child’s doctor appointments.

Both parents may have differing ideas about courses of treatment for their children.

The last thing you want to do is get into an argument in your child’s doctor’s office.  If you feel you can’t maintain decorum, then this could lead to restrictions placed on one parent or the other. Quite possibly, a healthcare professional could refuse to treat your child.

85. Do not withhold important diagnosis and treatment information from the other parent.

If you take your child to the doctor, and it results in a significant diagnosis, at the very least, you need to share the diagnosis, prescription, and follow-up information and any future appointment and care instructions.

86. Share second-opinion information with the other parent.

Second opinions usually mean that there is a somewhat serious condition affecting your child.

In cases like this, second-opinion results should be shared with both parents. It should also be sent to the primary healthcare provider and the diagnosing professional.

Before performing an invasive procedure on your child, make sure that the other parent has been consulted.  Give them a chance to provide input, especially if multiple options are a possibility.

87. Both parents must have access to medical insurance information.

It does not matter which parent carries the insurance.

However, to protect children, the parent carrying the insurance needs to make sure the other parent has a child’s insurance ID card, policy and group numbers, phone numbers to call for verification and authorization, and details of the policy provisions.

88. Be gracious if the other parent provides opportunities for your children that you cannot.

Finances are going to differ on both sides of the ledger after a divorce.

Each parent will probably run with a different crowd.  This can present opportunities for a child in one situation that may not exist on the other side.

Grandma and grandpa may offer an ex and children to go on a cruise, for example.  A rich uncle may offer to finance a car.  A family friend could offer to pay for piano lessons or to pay for a baseball season with their children.  You may even be able to have a puppy at your place where your spouse may not.

As long as it makes sense, don’t be vindictive when it comes to making these kinds of decisions regarding your kids.  Doing so only makes them bigger victims than they already are.

89. Let your child’s school know about changes in living conditions and what the rules are regarding access.

Aside from each parent, children spend the vast majority of their waking time in school.  Education is a partnership that works best when information is shared.

A child may seem normal at home but could be acting out at school.  Depression and anger may flash in the classroom for no apparent reason if administrators are not aware of your home life.

Teachers and administrators are also trained to deal with these kinds of issues. They may be able to offer additional resources to help the entire family.

90. Be civil to your ex when it comes to all things school-related.

Let them know about school assemblies, back-to-school nights, extra-curricular activities, parent-teacher conferences, and other similar events.  Do not air your dirty laundry in front of other parents.  Your child will be the one who ultimately suffers the most.

91. Both parents have rights to receive communications from their child’s school.

Each parent should contact the school directly to set up the preferred way to receive information about report cards and progress reports, schedules, activities, etc.  If your child’s educational information is available online, both parents have the right to know the child’s login information.

If a child receives special services through an Individual Education Plan, both parents have a right to receive details on that plan and to attend meetings about those services.

92. When a child uses a day planner or tracking system to keep up with assignments and schedules, both parents should have access to that planner when the child is in their care.

At times, a parent will receive information on a schedule, a deadline, or events that will overlap into the other parent’s time with the child.  The parent receiving the information is responsible for providing it to the other parent promptly.

93. The school has a responsibility as well.

A school must list both parents’ names and contact information on their child’s official school records. That is required even if others are also listed as emergency contacts or are listed on other school forms.

94. Limit talks about money with your children.

Your family finances are going to blow up to some degree or another, but as a parent, that’s your problem, not your child’s.

If your kids are older and family finances may impact your ability to buy them a car or send them to college, then you need to have a frank discussion about the realities of your situation.

However, expecting an 8-year-old to understand the nuances of a QDRO, alimony, and child support payments is unreasonable.

If you need to explain things, do so at a high level, letting them know some things have changed and certain activities won’t be possible for the time being.  Don’t point fingers.  Don’t lay guilt.

And don’t overextend yourself financially because you’re feeling guilty.

95. Defuse situations where a child will attempt to play one parent off against the other.

Kids are masters at this.  If you suspect it’s happening, the best thing you can do is check in with your ex to get their take on a situation.

When you do this a few times, you’ll send a message to your child that this tactic won’t work going forward.

96. Maintain your health and well-being.

Your children depend on you, and you owe it to them as well as yourself to prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental health. Self-care means you are also in a better place to provide care for others.

97. As kids change, so do their logistics.

The start of a new school year can mean going to a new school with a different bell schedule.  When a child signs up for baseball, soccer, dance lessons, or any other extracurricular activity, it’s going to mean both parents will have to coordinate schedule changes and responsibilities.

Don’t assume the other parent can handle the changes until you check with them first.  Adults also experience their own set of logistical changes, as well.

98. Make parenting transitions easier when your child leaves.

Going from one parent’s place to the other every few days or on weekends can be jarring for a child.  Every separation from a parent is difficult, even though a reunion with the other parent is usually a joyous occasion.

To make it easier when a child leaves your place for your spouse’s, help the child anticipate the change if the stay with you has been an extended one.  Pack in advance, so they don’t forget anything.

Always try to drop off the child instead of picking them up.  It’s a good idea to avoid “taking” your child from the other parent so that you don’t risk interrupting or curtailing a special moment.

99. Make parenting transitions easier when your child returns.

When a child comes back to your home, ease the transition by keeping things low key when they first arrive.

Consider always keeping certain basics at both homes, such as pajamas, toothbrushes, toiletries, and games, so that the need to unpack is lessened.  Give your child space when they first arrive to get used to the transition.  They mean some time and space to acclimate.

Also, understand that kids thrive on routine, so to the extent you can provide the same arrival experience almost every time, you’re helping your kids out.

100. If possible, give a child his or her own dedicated space.

This is especially important if you are the non-custodial parent.  A child will need space and privacy in both homes.  It makes downtime easier to regulate and provides a much-needed sense of privacy.

101. There is value in the mundane.

If you only see your child intermittently, you might be tempted to do nothing but fun activities to make up for lost time.  But research has shown there is value in also doing ordinary things.

Have dinner at the same time every night.  Have a child help by clearing plates or doing dishes.  Running errands together is also important in helping kids understand the way the world works daily.

Co-parenting should be a healthy dose of fun, structure, and predictability that creates a win-win for everyone.

Enforcing your Legal Parenting Rights

102. Sometimes, co-parenting is a less-than-cooperative undertaking.

High conflict divorces can quickly breed high conflict co-parenting situations.  Some parents want to fight tooth and nail on every little issue.  It’s unfortunate, but it happens.

The important thing to remember is that as a parent, you have rights.  And you can take several steps to ensure your rights are protected.

103. Make sure your lawyer is involved in drafting the initial parenting plan agreement.

It protects you later on if you need to come back and legally enforce elements of the agreement.  The same holds for your divorce decree.

Despite the plan and decree being approved, some parents have problems sticking to what’s in a legal document.  If you’re a non-custodial parent, this can be especially troubling.

Having a lawyer draft an airtight agreement is a smart precaution, especially if you think there could be problems down the road.

104. Try alternative enforcement measures first.

If your parental rights are violated only on an intermittent basis, you may be able to fix things per flexibility that are written into your agreements.  Try this route first.  If you get an uncooperative spouse that continues to disregard the terms they agreed to, move to the next step.

105. The next step is to get your attorney involved.

That does not necessarily mean going to court.  In many cases, just a sternly worded letter and the threat of legal action is enough to bring an ex around and into compliance.

106. If terms are continually violated, it’s time to visit the judge.

When visitation is withheld regularly, or other efforts fall short of agreed-upon terms, an attorney can petition the courts to see that your rights are enforced.

It gets things on the record. If violations continue, it could lead to dramatic changes in the terms you agreed to, up to and including changing who the custodial parent is.

107. Don’t go against the court’s general marching orders when it comes to children.

All jurisdictions in the United States believe that regular and healthy interactions with both parents are in the best interests of the children in a divorce.  They want active participation by mom and dad unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as domestic violence or drug abuse.

Withholding regular interactions for no good reason other than you’re mad is a sign of disrespect to the court.  It’s a fool’s game you will lose in the end.

108. You may be required to attend mediation or a co-parenting class.

Parents are often required to attend family mediation or co-parenting classes to make sure they understand how children will be impacted.  Refusing either of these sends a signal to the courts that you do not want to cooperate, and ultimately your custody and visitation rights could be affected.

109. Accept your child’s preference if the court asks them.

Older children often have a say in which parent they want to live with.  This isn’t always the case, but courts do try and consider a child’s input as one of the factors that help reach a final decision.

Courts also understand that parents may manipulate their children to gain more custodial rights.  They will take a closer look at a child’s preferences if they suspect this is the case.

110. Can I seek to modify a custody or visitation order?

Yes.  It happens when there has been a change of circumstances in either parent’s life.  You can ask for a partial modification based on what has changed, such as if you lost your job or you no longer have access to health insurance.

111. How can I ensure payment of child support?

Some states have child support and alimony taken directly out of a parent’s paycheck before they even see it.

Other states allow a parent to make regular payments to the spouse or a third-party government agency.  If a parent does not meet a voluntary payment plan, the other parent can go to court to seek a garnishment of wages.

Also, the IRS has the authority to withhold some or all of a co-parent’s tax refund if there is an unpaid child support obligation.

112. You can seek a termination of parental rights.

In some cases, you might realize that you can’t properly care for your children, or that another person can do a much better job.  It’s painful, but you can voluntarily choose to terminate your own rights.  This often happens so that a child can be adopted.

At other times, termination of parental rights is anything but friendly.  But if a child is at risk, a parent can take the extraordinary step of seeking termination of rights by their ex.

Factors considered by courts when deciding to terminate parental rights include chronic or severe mental or physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.

Also, if a parent has abandoned a child or refuses to provide support or have any contact with a child, that can be grounds for termination.  Conviction of a felony or extended incarceration can also lead to a loss of rights as well.

113. You can seek to have your rights reinstated.

If the reason your parental rights were terminated no longer exists, then it may be possible to petition for the reinstatement of your rights.

For example, if you were abusing drugs but you have since gone straight, if you can demonstrate this to the court, you have a chance at regaining your rights.  If your home life was unstable for any reason, such as possible homelessness, but you have gotten a job and stabilized your living arrangements, this may be any case where rights are restored as well.

High Conflict Co-Parenting Relationships

114. Suspend normal rules when your spouse has threatened you or becomes violent.

Many of the other tips here assume a certain degree of civility.  Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.  Emotions run high.  People can’t control themselves, and they lash out.

That can be verbally or with physical actions.

It’s estimated that as much as half of all first-time domestic violence takes place after separation.  It is especially true where one spouse or the other has a “winner take all” sole custody strategy.  Your priority is the immediate safety of you and anyone else who has been threatened or is a victim.

115. Normal rules are also suspended when drug or alcohol abuse is present, too.

Lots of moms and dads like to party.  Some are responsible.  Some are not.

Drug and alcohol use may or may not have been an issue when a parenting plan was established.  It may have also had an impact on how custody and visitation were decided.

If drug or alcohol use has changed and become more pronounced, and if it has led to unacceptable parental behavior and decisions, notify the courts.

Never put yourself or your children at risk.  It is the most visceral form of failure as a parent if you do.

116. If you’re the one prone to lashing out, keep in mind that you’re only making things worse for yourself.

Shared parenting is an incentive for mothers and fathers to find a way to cooperate.  If you find you can’t handle the rigors of parenting, don’t do something stupid.  As hard as it may be to control what you may think is an unfair situation, find a way to walk away.

Courts and law enforcement deal with angry people all the time.  They’ll know who is prone to violence and who is putting on an actor’s face in front of them.  You may fool them initially, but eventually, they will figure it out.  When they do, you’ll pay the price.

117. In most high-conflict divorces, physical violence is not a factor.  But high conflict can still exist.

Few issues stir passions as much as children in a divorce.  When two strong-willed parents have the charged task of attempting to come up with a parenting plan that’s both fair and practical, clashes will take place.

Litigation can create adversaries who won’t back down.  Lawyers will slug it out and try to resolve issues, but behind the scenes, psychological conflict and angst will be prominent.  That leads to both parents disparaging each other.

As much as you may not like it, the best approach is going to involve compromise.  Decide what’s important to you, understand there’s going to be give and take, dial down your fury and work on a plan together.

118. Set boundaries and expect them to be enforced.

Once a parenting plan is in place, a high conflict situation is a breeding ground for both parents to push the envelope on acceptable behavior.  There will be some “special” situations that will call for flexibility, but if you see an unacceptable pattern emerging, blow the whistle immediately.

That can involve drop-off times, expenses, vacations, or just about anything else that requires a clear boundary.  Keep in mind that a clear boundary, accompanied by your accountability to stick to those boundaries, will produce less conflict instead of more.

119. Consider requesting a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) appointed to care for your children.

In a high conflict situation, there’s a good chance you’ll be tied up with the courts as you try to resolve your dispute.  Your attorney can request a GAL and appointed by a judge to watch out for your child’s short-term interests.  A GAL will act as an advocate for your child’s rights.

120. Limit flashpoints that can escalate the conflict.

There are several strategies you can employ for you and the good of your children.  The concept of parallel parenting means you’ll minimize contact with your ex, but still communicate on important issues as needed.

That is better done in writing many times.  It removes direct communication and possible heat-of-the-moment exchanges.

In fact, OurFamilyWizard has communication tools just for this situation, including a ToneMeter that will analyze the tone of your message and flag emotionally charged words and phrases.

121. “How will this affect my children?”

Ask this question of yourself if you find your blood boiling at any point.  At all times, you must remember you are the adult in the room.  Children learn, even in divorce, how to cope with conflict, emotions, and stress.

They are sponges and will soak up everything you say and do.  Find constructive ways to channel your anger.  And if you can’t, save it for times when they won’t be impacted.

Adult time-outs are not out of the question, either.

122. Unscheduled off-hours communications should only take place in an emergency.

Conflict can include harassment, 24/7.  Phone calls and texts are not cool at 6 am or midnight just for the sake of escalating and being a pain in the ass.  You know it.  So don’t do it.

123. A neutral third party can be worth their weight in gold.

You may have used a mediator to create a parenting plan.  There’s no reason why you can’t find someone to be a mediator to smooth out and filter communications while also turning down the temperature on your co-parenting conflicts.

Make sure this person is up to the task and that both people agree on who it is.  That doesn’t have to be permanent either.  Lean on this person until you can get to a point where major issues are no longer major flashpoints.

If needed, a social services agency may intervene.  However, if you can find a level-headed family friend or mutually agreeable relative, that would be better.

124. Co-parenting with a narcissist means you’ll be subjected to a manipulative and emotionally abusive ex.

The problem with narcissists is that they can be very elusive when trying to pin down their destructive behaviors.  They’re more likely to use the kids as pawns to elicit a rise out of you.  They’ll provoke you into arguments you can’t win.

Narcissists are experts at keeping you off guard and out of sorts.  It’s more imperative than ever to stay on point once you’ve identified their tactics and behaviors.

It’s crucial to have clearly defined communication goals every time you talk.  And don’t veer off script if you can help it.

125. Understand what triggers a narcissist.

Because they are all about control, when a child starts to show independence as they grow a bit older, this could set off a narcissist co-parent.  A child’s independence will seem like an abandonment of sorts to that type of person.

Holidays are also another trigger for narcissists.  Knowing this in advance, take appropriate steps to insulate yourself from their behavior.

126. Accept co-parenting may not be possible with a narcissist.

By their very nature, narcissists lack empathy.  They cannot genuinely connect with others, which is especially tragic when it comes to family members.

Kids, by their very nature, are the least equipped of all people to deal with the complicated trappings of a narcissist parent.  That’s a huge problem because kids genuinely look up to and gravitate to their parents.

You may need to start documenting examples of where the narcissist co-parent falls short and switch to a mode of minimal contact, such as parallel parenting.

127. Go “grey rock” on a narcissist.

You should become boring, monotone and emotionless when dealing with a narcissist co-parent.  Don’t give them any emotional fuel to use against you.

Don’t bite and respond when they antagonize you.  And above all else, don’t blame yourself for their inappropriate behavior.

To learn more, be sure to check out our guide on the Do’s and Don’ts of Co-Parenting with a Narcissist.

Related: The Definitive Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist

Using Co-Parenting Apps

128. You can choose from a lot of different co-parenting apps.

One of the great things about co-parenting apps is that there are a lot to choose from. You only need to decide what functions you want, how much you want to pay, and you’ll be able to find exactly what you need without a problem.

Most offer a calendar/scheduling function and messaging capabilities.  Several also provide the ability to track parenting expenses and reimbursements.

Our Family Wizard even offers a Tone Detector that will keep your snarky comments from finding their way into the conversation and creating a permanent record that could be used against you later.

The coParenter app offers a live coaching feature that allows you to access on-demand professional services if you need help in real time. For mobile phone users, Fayr is simple, practical, and available for both iPhone and Android users.

Most are simple to use and only require that you have a decent line of communication with the other parent, or a commitment from the both of you to use an app to help you co-parent better.

129. Co-Parenting apps can create a record of communications and transactions.

Rather than engaging in an ongoing battle of “he said, she said,” co-parenting apps can create a formal record of communications, agreed-upon scheduling, and payment transactions between parents.

If you’re always on the go, an app can act as your personal secretary when it comes to all matters related to your children, keeping you on track at all times.

As a single parent, you’re juggling a lot of things, and using an app effectively can remove a lot of stress from your parenting challenges.

130. Using co-parenting apps to save thousands of dollars in court costs.

Have you got an ex who would rather fight than cooperate?  Sometimes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of legal cures.  When you get overburdened at work, or you space out and forget child pick-ups, miss payments or end up fighting when you don’t need to, this can land you back in court when one parent or the other gets fed up.

Using an app also means that you’re creating a permanent record you can use in from of a judge.  Once you remind a spouse that records like that exist, if they’re in the wrong, they’ll usually back down and agree to work out problems in private.

131. Technology reduces the emotional quotient, which is especially effective in high conflict situations.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is insulate yourself from an ex who always seems to be on the warpath.   By reducing communications and transactions with your ex to only what is required to co-parent effectively, you’ll turn down the heat significantly.

The other thing you’ll do is train an angry ex that the co-parenting app is there to protect you.  Once they figure out that you can use the app for spousal anger management issues, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief.

That is extremely effective when dealing with a manipulative or narcissistic parent.  You won’t be able to filter out their tendencies completely, but you will be able to corral many of their bad behaviors.

132. Co-parenting apps cost less than a subscription to Netflix.

Depending on your needs, co-parenting apps are extremely affordable related to the value they offer you.  Some are free (i.e., Google Calendar, Cozi, and AppClose), and most are available in a subscription format for $10 or less a month.

For example, Our Family Wizard offers a full array of features and costs $99 per year per parent.  Another app, 2 Houses, is available for $12.50 per month on a yearly contract and covers the entire family.

You need to decide what features are necessary for your particular co-parenting situation and then start comparing app features and prices to find the one that is right for you.

Related Content

Recent Posts