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Tips for a productive co-parenting meeting

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Child Custody |

When parents live in the same house, it is often easy to touch base about how your child is faring and discuss any worries you may have about them. When parents are unmarried and living separately, this process is not nearly as simple.

However, it is often still important to communicate with your co-parent. Many people nowadays do this through regularly scheduled co-parenting meetings. Whether these meetings are virtual or in-person, the following tips can help you ensure the meeting is worthwhile.

Be professional

Parenting is a job. Therefore, it can help to treat this meeting like you would a formal business meeting in your workplace. This is especially helpful if you and your child’s other parent do not necessarily get along.

To maintain a level of professionalism, it helps to:

  • Arrive on time
  • Keep communication formal and respectful
  • Participate fully, listen actively and respond thoughtfully

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, keeping interactions with your co-parent business-like can help to reduce the chance of conflicts developing. You may have specific terms to manage conflict in your custody agreement, but proactively avoiding conflict in the first place during these meetings is a good approach.

Have an agenda – and follow it

Just like a business meeting, it is also helpful if you and your co-parent come prepared. For example, you may wish to:

  • Make sure you have plenty of time for this meeting, to avoid distractions
  • Have talking points, concerns or questions you wish to address
  • Take notes about the topics you discuss and items to follow up on

In some cases, you might find it beneficial to have a shared online schedule and document. Then you and your co-parent can both arrange meetings and keep notes organized in real time.

Check-in with the co-parenting agreement

Most of the meeting will likely center around your child’s daily life, their needs as well as your parenting methods. However, it is also necessary to frequently address some administrative matters, such as:

  • How is the custody schedule working for everyone?
  • Are there any amendments you should make to the parenting plan?
  • Are there any upcoming changes you should expect in the child’s life or your lives?

Evaluate all aspects of your co-parenting on a regular basis to make sure it continues working for everyone involved. The plan and arrangement should meet everyone’s needs as much as possible, and it is possible to change it as time goes on to do just that.