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A Family Lawyer's expert tips on Co-Parenting

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A Family Lawyers expert tips on Co-Parenting

Co-parenting can be complex and difficult, and arrangements aren’t always smooth.

In his latest article, Family Partner Andy Stynes provides some helpful tips for successful co-parenting and outlines what parents can do if their arrangements aren’t working.

What is Co-Parenting?

Co-Parenting is the term given to parents who do not live together, either through divorce, separation, relationship breakup or simply because they never have lived together.

Co-parents typically both have a role in their children’s lives and keep a close relationship with them.

When co-parents are civil, open and communicate with each other, co-parenting can have a positive impact on the mental well-being of the children.

However, separation and divorce can often be acrimonious which can make it difficult for parents to work together for the benefit of their children. This, in turn, has a negative effect on their children.

What is the hardest part of co-parenting?

Unfortunately, Co-Parenting can be full of conflict, with tension and bitterness often arising from a lack of communication.

Parents who don’t live with the children can feel left out or pushed aside, that their wishes and feelings are ignored, overlooked or marginalised.

Whereas parents who live with the children can feel overwhelmed and inundated with responsibility. This can lead to frustration, irritation and disappointment and, eventually, indifference, disagreement and conflict.

Should co-parents talk everyday?

Communication is key for any successful relationship. However, technology like social media and instant messaging can be a double-edged sword. It can easily lead to miscommunication, anxiety and disputes.

On the other hand, there are many different apps available to help families, regardless of whether or not you are living under the same roof.

What are the best co-parenting apps?

Different apps offer different options, some are paid for monthly or annually whilst others are free.

Most co-parenting apps offer a shared calendar, a place to enter the children’s details (including medical, age, clothes and shoe size etc), a contact schedule, a journal and more.

Here’s a list of some of the best co-parenting apps:

What does a co-parenting app do?

The aim of co-parenting apps is to assist you in communication and prevent/reduce any unnecessary conflict.

Such apps also help provide easy access to records, reduce any confusion over scheduling, track and share appointments and more.

Learning to live apart can be challenging and fraught with emotion, but a co-parenting app can alleviate unnecessary pressures and allow you to work together for the benefit of the children as well as help you, as parents, to rebuild and strengthen your relationship.

There is no doubt that co-parenting can be difficult, acrimonious and hostile, but co-parenting apps are one way that can make the transition easier and calmer.

What to do when co-parenting doesn't work?

If co-parenting just isn’t working, you might want to try mediation.

This will involve appointing a third-party mediator who will speak to both co-parents and aim to assist you in coming to an agreement.

We recommend that mediation should be considered and/or trialled, before court involvement is sought.

Although we don’t offer mediation services at Frettens, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction. You can get in touch with us using the information at the end of this article.

Co-parenting: What if mediation doesn’t work?

If you’ve tried everything else and things still aren’t resolved, you can turn to court to sort things out.

You can apply to court for a Child Arrangements Order (CAO), this will set out where your children will live (and with who) and the arrangements for seeing parents.

How do the courts decide on Child Arrangement Order?

The court’s main concern will be the welfare of your children. So, they will primarily consider your children’s interests, ahead of what the parents might want.

The court will consider the following factors:

  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the children;
  • Their physical, emotional and educational needs.
  • The likely effect on them of any change in circumstances.
  • Their age, sex, background and any characteristics which are relevant.
  • Any harm which they have suffered, or are at risk of suffering.
  • How capable are you, your former partner and any other relevant person of meeting their needs.
  • Any other powers open to the court.

You can read our full article on child arrangements and court orders here.

Bright Family Solicitors

Our experienced team of bright Family Solicitors can assist you in applying to court, or with any other divorce or child issue.

Or if you would just like to speak to someone and ask us some questions, we’d be happy to speak to you.

You can call us on 01202 499255 or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free initial chat.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.