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Common co-parenting mistakes to avoid

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Child Custody, Family Law

Co-parenting can sometimes be emotionally draining and complicated, even when parents have the best intentions. As a parent, you must be well-informed and prepared to make decisions for yourself and your children.

If you are co-parenting, it is also essential to consider the other parent and how the decisions you make involving the children affect the other parent and their relationship with your children.

Despite many parents’ best intentions, co-parenting mistakes happen. This does not mean that co-parenting is ineffective or that you should give up on it; after all, research consistently shows that co-parenting helps support children’s mental and physical health and has a wide range of benefits. Common mistakes co-parents make include:

Not fully understanding the legal process

While a co-parenting scenario may seem informal, you may have a court order explicitly stating how both parents must manage certain aspects of childrearing.

It is critical to understand that even if you co-parent, court orders and legal agreements, which often include visitation schedules and child support responsibilities, are orders that parents must follow as the court orders.

Not putting the children’s best interests first

It is critical to remember that the primary focus in child custody matters is the well-being of the children. Sometimes parents make the mistake of prioritizing their desires or emotions when the court and the law are unequivocal about the children coming first. Regarding child custody matters, the child’s best interests are the standard parents must live up to.

What does putting the children first look like?

It is not unusual for parents to question themselves and wonder if they are doing their best. As long as you are considering your child’s best interests in all your decisions, you should feel calm and confident that you are doing the right thing. Some examples of putting the children first include:

  • Considering the child’s emotional, physical and educational needs before the parents’ needs.
  • Being willing to compromise with the other parent and maintain a positive relationship with them for the children, as well as not speaking ill of the other parent to your child.
  • Keeping your child’s daily routine as stable as possible so their environment remains as unchanged as it can be. Children thrive in structured environments where they feel safe and protected.

It is not unusual for co-parents to make mistakes because life can sometimes be difficult, and parents are human. However, keeping these common mistakes in mind can be helpful for parents so they can prevent making them and having to deal with potential consequences.