110 1/2 N. Tejon Street, Suite #205

Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 471-4782
Virginia@HenleyGatz.com
Diane@HenleyGatz.com

gog twosome

Co-Parenting 

(see also Co-Parenting with a Difficult Person)

Imagine a situation where you have a last minute event that suddenly arises where you need someone to step in and take the children for a time. Imagine that you can call your ex, who is happy to help you out and get some extra time with the children, and imagine your children being excited that they get to spend some bonus time with their other parent rather than being left with a babysitter. Is this scenario possible? Absolutely, but it takes cooperation and a dedication to building trust.

Do not expect that at the end of a marriage or relationship that you and your ex can easily or instantly make this transition to healthy and beneficial co-parenting.

Often getting to this level of trust and cooperation takes work on both sides, and that work ideally begins immediately upon living in separate households. Unfortunately the “adversarial” nature of divorce and child custody proceedings means that parents are encouraged to track all the failures of the other parent and to use that against the other parent in arguing over allocation of parenting time. That fact, combined with the very long period of time that it takes from the beginning of filing a Motion or Petition to when the Court enters a final Order, makes it very difficult to effectively co-parent. The length of the litigation process and the adversarial nature of the process also set the stage for emotional hurt, personal attacks, distrust, and competition rather than cooperation. Never mind the fact that the litigation process takes place in a time of great stress, and few people are on their best behavior or have good self control in a time of great stress. So, how do we get from the end of a relationship or marriage to a good co-parenting relationship?

 

Here’s my advice, based on what I have seen that works: