Co-parenting is almost never easy. It requires strength, patience and creativity. Thankfully, because you are invested in your child's wellbeing, you are already approaching your co-parenting relationship from a solid foundation. Even if your child's other parent is not the most cooperative, attentive or calm person around, your commitment to do what is best for your child will help to make your co-parenting relationship as productive as it can be.
Whether you are an unmarried parent or you are currently in a relationship with someone other than your child's other parent, you have the ability to give your child the support and guidance he or she needs. However, it is important not to shy away from accepting help and support when it is available. Navigating a complex co-parenting relationship is stressful and you do not have to do it alone.
An attorney's assistance
One of the best things you can do for the stability of your co-parenting relationship is speak with an attorney about creating a formal co-parenting plan. This kind of agreement can be drafted in such a way that it will be binding. This means that you will be able to enforce your plan in court.
You may not feel that you need to enforce any aspect of your co-parenting relationship in court right now. But this agreement can act as a safeguard for the future. For example, if your co-parenting agreement states that your child spends winter holidays with you and your co-parent refuses to return your child for the holidays, you will have the authority of a binding contract on your side. This will make it easier for you to hold your co-parent accountable for his or her choices.
Your child's best interests
In addition, your co-parenting agreement can help to ensure that you and your co-parent remain committed to serving your child's best interests. Children tend to thrive when they feel safe and they know what to expect from their parents. Setting out co-parenting guidelines can help to foster these important goals.
You can also help to ensure that your agreement reflects your child's unique needs. From travel arrangements to education-related matters, screen time restrictions to religious holiday observances, you can address virtually anything that you feel is important within your parenting agreement. And with the aid of an attorney, you can ensure that it becomes binding.