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Co-parenting in Minnesota requires consistency, cooperation

Child custody in Minnesota can come in a variety of forms. Sometimes one parent has sole custody while the other parent has visitation rights. However, other times parents share joint custody, and choose to co-parent.

When it comes to raising children, especially in a co-parenting situation, consistency is key. Take, for example, bedtime. It can be confusing for a child to have one bedtime at one parent's house, and then a different bedtime at the other parent's house. That being said, it may not be possible for all rules and routines to be exactly the same at each home. Keep in mind that flexibility is preferred over fighting.

If inconsistencies arise that are affecting the child's well-being, the parents should have a conversation about it, and look for the positives between each of their respective home rules and routines. Then they can each sit down with their child and have a conversation about the fact that there are inconsistencies, all while keeping their own home rules and routines consistent.

Of course, for co-parenting to work, each parent needs to be cooperative. Neither parent can control what the other parent does. It is important to be cordial. Keeping conversations short and keeping child drop-off and pick-up brief can help. Keeping the whole co-parenting manner businesslike may be better than fighting. While you cannot control your ex, you can control how you spend your time with your kids. Badmouthing your ex will not help, and in fact can negatively affect your child. Taking the high road is often the better option.

In the end, parenting plans are put into place to provide the child with a stable home environment, in which he or she can spend quality, meaningful time with each parent. Many parents do decide that co-parenting is in their child's best interests. If, however, the co-parenting plan is causing significant difficulties, parents can still turn to the courts to have their child custody order enforced or modified, depending on the situation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "7 Issues All Co-Parents Face And How To Overcome Them," Carolin Lehmann, July 20, 2016

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