The child custody negotiation process is often challenging for parents. It forces you to work with someone you aren’t in a relationship with any longer. There might be bad feelings between you and your ex; however, now is the time that you have to put your feeling for each other aside and focus on the kids.

If you choose to co-parent, you and your ex have many years of working as a parenting team. This lets the children know that you are still committed to ensure that they have everything that they need. You also reduce the risk that they will try to play you and your ex against each other because they know that you are truly a team.

The decisions about the children are usually made by both parents. Depending on the nature of the relationship you have with your ex, you might be comfortable allowing some aspects of the child’s life to be handled by whichever parent has the kids at the time. This gives each parent a bit of leeway with how they parent.

You and your ex need to have open and respectful communication throughout the time your children are at home. If you can have verbal discussions, this is fine. Some parents find that messaging each other works better because there is a record of what’s being said.

No matter how you have your co-parenting relationship set up, you need to have a child custody arrangement that puts the child’s needs first. It should be as detailed as you need to ensure that you and your ex both know what you need to do.