When a couple in Virginia has a child, they naturally want to give their child the best upbringing possible. If they are in a romantic relationship with one another, parents will work together to provide their child with all of the child's physical, mental and emotional needs. However, even if their relationship does not last, parents will find that they may still be able to work together to raise their child. They can do this through co-parenting.
When a divorced couple co-parents, they can still have a business-like relationship with one another, even if their romantic relationship has come to an end. By keeping their focus on the child's best interests, they can do what is right for their child. This means that both parents must respect the fact that they both have a right to be involved in their child's life. Doing so is not always easy, but by letting go of their anger and resentment towards one another, they may be able to come to a common ground about how they will raise their child.
When co-parenting, parents should make sure that they are the parent and their child is their child, not a friend. Co-parenting also means encouraging one's child to have a relationship with one's ex. Divorced parents will need to understand that in order to co-parent, they will have to communicate civilly with one another. Any child custody or visitation exchanges should be done in a positive manner, in order to relieve any stress the child may feel about such exchanges. Sometimes parents may want to take a course on co-parenting or they may want to get counseling in order to make the process run smoother. If one parent pays child support, he or she should make sure that all payments are made in full and on time.
Co-parenting requires patience, flexibility and communication. It addresses the fact that even if a couple's relationship has ended, they still share the common bond of being the child's parent. Co-parenting can allow the child to grow in a healthy and supportive environment, which in the end serves the child's best interests.
Source: Michigan State University Extension, "Ten tips for successful co-parenting," Holly B. Tiret, Aug. 3, 2012