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Working together to meet the challenges of co-parenting

When a couple decides to have a child, they know that everything will be changing when the child arrives. The parents will no longer have just their needs to consider, but will also need to be sure that the child is provided for as well. Some relationships are able to withstand the changes that result after the child is born, while other couples may find that they are slowly drifting apart.

If the couple decides to end the relationship, they will need to determine a child custody and visitation schedule to enable both parents to remain a major part of the child's life. This can be extremely difficult for the parties to accomplish on their own, and in many cases, these arrangements will need to be determined by the courts.

California uses the best interests of the child factors when deciding child custody. Frequently, this leads to arguments between the parents as each one tries to demonstrate why he or she should be awarded custody.

After the decision has been reached by the courts, the parents will still need to work together to help raise the child. The bitterness of the custody battle could still be lingering, which could lead to potential problems for everyone involved, including the child.

Co-parenting is a skill that takes time to develop. Because of the mistrust that may have developed earlier, the parents need to commit to making this arrangement work. They have to agree to keep the child out of the middle of their arguments, and promise that they will reach out to the other if a problem arises.

In order for this to work, both parents need to recognize and respect the importance that each has in the child's life. Each parent should be allowed to spend time with the child, and participate in the major events that are happening. If it is possible, each parent could be asked for input when important decisions need to be made.

Parents must also understand that not every schedule will go according to plan. Things can happen with little to no warning, and can leave both parents needing to adapt at a moment's notice. If both sides can trust one another, they can work together more effectively when these situations develop.

If you have questions about child custody or visitation, speak to an experienced family law attorney about your concerns. While you may think it is impossible to find an agreement on these issues, focusing on the needs that are most important to you can help eliminate some of the problems that may be present. Working with an attorney can allow you toward finding an agreement that allows you to still be able to spend time with your child.


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