How to successfully co-parent in Indiana in 2022
It is most important that when parents divorce, both parents have an active role in their children’s lives. For the ex-spouses, it is now about making important shared decisions about their children. Parents must learn how to successfully co-parent in Indiana together so that both parents can have a close relationship with their children.
A co-parenting relationship can sometimes have disagreements, fights, and conflicts that can cause children to have certain behaviors. According to The Urban Child Institute, “Young children of high-conflict parents are at a higher risk for anxiety, aggressive behavior, and poor social skills.”
If this is something that you are experiencing with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, our family law firm offers mediation that can help you with decisions based on the children’s home environment, the child’s wishes, and other factors and explain visitation rights or “parenting time” to the non-custodial parent.
Common co-parenting schedules in Indiana
Because of our own busy schedules, such as work, other obligations, family, and your children’s schedules. It can be difficult to create an effective and successful co-parenting schedule that works for both yourself and your ex-spouse. Here are the most common types of co-parenting schedules that may work for your family.
- Physical custody – or sometimes called joint custody, is more of a traditional parenting schedule in Indiana. This is a schedule where both parents have equal custody. Time is often split as evenly as possible where both parents would have time with the children during the week, alternating weekends, and scheduled alternating holidays.
- Alternate weeks – some parents find this schedule accommodating for them because on their schedule or on their off weeks, they can work on things such as getting errands done, their job schedule, being able to attend social events, or work obligations like travel, or even just taking them for themselves.
- 5-2-2-5 days (five days on, two off, two on, five off) repeat and alternating – this schedule is good for parents with a more flexible schedule or if it works to meet the needs of their children’s extracurricular schedule.
- Primary custody – Primary custody is when one parent has the children for the most time, and the other parent has scheduled visitation. This is usually because the court has made this decision based on the children’s best interest.
As you work through your divorce with your Indiana divorce attorney, it is important to work together to work out a schedule that works for both parents and what is best for the children. A judge can also determine a parenting schedule based on the children’s best interests and will actually work in practice for the parents.
How to Successfully Co-parent in 2022
When it comes to co-parenting in 2022, it is important that you do what is best for your family. As you are working through your divorce, your Indiana divorce attorney will assist you in ways to come up with a co-parenting schedule that will work best for everyone. It is better to decide as co-parents rather than letting a judge rule. As you figure out your co-parenting schedule, here are seven tips to help you successfully co-parent in 2022:
- Don’t put the kids in the middle – You must learn to separate your personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship. It is never a good idea to discuss issues between your ex-spouse with your children, no matter the age of your children. Instead, find a friend, therapist, or a network of people with whom you can discuss your issues with your ex-spouse.
- Communication is essential – Establish a form of communication with the least amount of conflict. Remember to focus the conversation on the child and not your feelings, whether talking on the phone, by text or by email. Also, remember that it helps to make requests instead of demands, and listen to your ex’s recommendations as well.
- Create and stick to a parenting plan – During the divorce, you may have established a parenting plan in which you both make major decisions. Both parties should agree upon medical, educational, and financial choices. It also helps to have the same rules, discipline, and schedule at both parents’ houses. You should also consider what your children want to do as they grow older. You need to be on the same page about things such as; curfews, going on vacation with friends, first jobs, college, driving, etc.
- Use an online calendar or schedule app – When you both use the same scheduling calendar, you see the same information. Some apps, such as Our Family Wizard and Cozi, allow you to double-check the timing of the child’s schedule.
- Be flexible – Both parents need to try to stick to the parenting plan as much as possible, but we all know that things change, and we need to be flexible. Sometimes you need to change the calendar, and sometimes your ex will need to do the same.
- Make the transition from one parent to another as smooth as possible – Your child should not dread the time when they change from one parent’s house to another. Set a place and time to drop off the kids and exchange pertinent information. Again, this is not the time to have emotional conversations with your ex. It helps if the child has necessities at each parent’s house: a toothbrush, pajamas, and extra clothing – this way, they will feel comfortable in both homes, and nothing will be forgotten.
- Co-parenting mediation – It is hard to work with someone you don’t get along with. It is common to attend co-parenting mediation to learn how to set emotions aside and work together for the children’s sake. Especially when you are discussing something new that has occurred in your children’s lives. This could be anything from joining a new sports team to wanting to get a car at sixteen. It is important to work through these decisions together. In counseling, you can learn to set boundaries and work through all co-parenting challenges. One place to seek co-parenting counseling is with your Indiana family law attorney.
Working with Your Indiana Family Law Attorney
Choose an attorney specializing in family law in Indiana to help with your co-parenting plan and counseling. Having an impartial professional will remind you to keep your emotions focused on your children instead of your anger at each other. Our Indiana family law firm will help navigate your divorce so that you can successfully co-parent with your ex-partner.
Are you looking for a family law attorney in Indiana?
At Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing compassionate, aggressive, and experienced legal representation to all of our clients. We know the difficult path that you are about to take, but we can tell you that you will come out at the other end in a better place to achieve your goal of peace and happiness. Our goal is to be your advocate to protect you, your children, and your future.
Contact us for a free consultation, or simply give us a call at 812-232-7400. We are here to listen and provide you with the support and guidance you need.