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Preparing for the ups and downs of co-parenting

When couples decide to get married or have a child, well-meaning loved ones tend to offer unsolicited advice about the road ahead. More than once, engaged couples and couples who are expecting will almost certainly hear loved ones warn that marriage and parenting are not easy endeavors. For better and for worse, co-parenting is also rarely an easy process. But like marriage and parenting in general, it is often what any given individual or couple does with the process that determines its outcome.

Co-parenting can be uniquely frustrating and uniquely rewarding. The circumstances surrounding any given co-parenting relationship can be complex. However, if both parents are willing to weather the ups and downs of it in order to advance the best interests of the child that they share, the relationship can be rewarding in the end. However, co-parenting can be uniquely tricky when the tensions between a set of parents are high or only one parent is willing to embrace a healthy approach to co-parenting.

It is important to note that child custody orders and parenting agreements can be modified under certain circumstances. If your co-parent is behaving in ways that simply do not allow your child’s best interests to be prioritized, it may be possible to modify your agreement. But beyond legal modification, much of the problem solving issues you will face in your co-parenting relationship will be solely up to you and your co-parent to weather. Being prepared for co-parenting as a journey of ups and downs can be helpful. Your co-parenting relationship may not always be ideal. But it can be beneficial for your child if you are willing to approach it in healthy ways.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Real, Honest-To-Goodness Truth About Co-Parenting,” Leah Porritt, Feb. 7, 2015

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