A number of Texas parents will have to co-parent children when they are no longer together with the other parent. While some parents struggle through this, others can raise their children in a cooperative, supportive and successful environment. This takes effort and dedication from both parents.

Figuring out child custody issues after a split can be complicated, particularly when the parents’ negative feelings for each other are involved. However, when successful co-parenting is the priority, parents can make it work. Starting with a detailed parenting plan that anticipates how to handle many of the situations that might come up during the co-parenting journey can help parents avoid additional tension and stress in the future. A concrete calendar that clearly shows the children’s schedules, including when they spend time with each parent and their extra-curricular activities, is also helpful. Discussing and agreeing on major aspects of parenting, such as discipline, education and health care choices, can help parents work together well to raise their children.

The way parents communicate is also important. Communication should be focused on the children, honest and open, and respectful of the other parent’s life choices and limits. Parents should see themselves as team members who can depend on each other first when it comes to issues of raising their children. Flexibility is also important, and parents should show each other courtesy and understanding when situations come up that might require last-minute changes. Finally, parents should encourage a positive relationship and bond between the children and the other parent as studies show that children benefit most from having a relationship with both.

Seeking assistance from a lawyer through child custody negotiations may also be a step toward creating a positive co-parenting environment. A lawyer may explain the custody options available and their benefits.