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Co-Parenting Success in Orlando: Tips for Effective Communication and Collaboration

Orlando Family Team has an impressive track record of guiding a wide range of families through the complexities of separation and divorce. Our attorneys are well aware that one of the most challenging aspects of this life change is helping children move through it with as little pain and confusion as possible. Our attorneys have found that the best way to make this happen is for the parents to put aside their differences and learn to co-parent successfully for the sake of their children.

Extensive experience has shown us that it’s possible to turn the newly structured family into a productive, cooperative environment. With some effort and cooperation, the parents can learn to co-exist peacefully with their exes while their children readjust to living and thriving with parents who lead separate lives. 

Establishing Consistency Between Parents

One of the critical aspects of co-parenting is maintaining a certain amount of consistency in both households. This consistency provides a sense of security for the child. It also makes for less friction between the parents. Here are some tips on how to achieve such consistency:

  1. Set Common Ground Rules by agreeing on bedtimes, screen time, homework, and other routines.
  2. Enforce a Similar Code of Acceptable Behavior so your child cannot get away with things in one household that are forbidden in the other. It is also helpful to have both parents use similar rewards and types of discipline.
  3. Regular Schedules are reassuring for all members of the family. Your child will be more comfortable and less tense if both parents are consistent and prompt about keeping set times for school, parenting time, extracurricular activities, etc.
  4. Open Communication is important. It allows both parents to understand their child’s physical health (e.g., eating habits, activity level), progress in school, relationships, and emotional state.

Reducing Conflict During Co-Parenting

Minimizing parental conflict is crucial for the mental health of both parents and children. To reduce friction between parents:

  • Respect one another’s time: Honor the agreed-upon schedule and avoid last-minute changes.
  • Use written communication for clarity and to prevent “tone of voice” difficulties: Using texts or emails can avoid misunderstanding and squabbles.
  • Pick your battles: Not every disagreement is worth an argument. Sometimes, it is helpful to just “let it go.”
  • Seek mediation: If disagreements persist, consider mediation services to resolve issues constructively.

These methods will also demonstrate less confrontational means of communication for your child.

Dealing with a Toxic Parent

Let’s face it: some exes are harder to deal with than others. Handling a toxic ex-partner requires extra care. Here are some suggestions:

  • Set definite boundaries: Define clear boundaries for communication and interaction.
  • Limit direct contact: If interactions are usually hostile, use written communication.
  • Protect your child: Shield your child from conflicts and refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in their presence.
  • Seek legal advice: In cases of extreme toxicity or abuse, consult with our legal professionals for guidance. There are times when only legal intervention can create workable co-parenting.

The Role of a Co-Parenting Coach or Counselor

A co-parenting coach or counselor can be invaluable since such an individual provides:

  • Neutral ground — a safe space for discussing and resolving parenting issues.
  • Education about effective communication skills —  e.g., ways to word requests so they cannot be interpreted as commands.
  • Customized strategies — to meet your family’s specific needs.
  • Moral support — to validate your feelings and reactions and to assist you in managing your stress in the co-parenting realm.

Co-parenting is a task that requires patience, understanding, and commitment. By prioritizing effective communication and collaboration, you can create a positive and stable environment for your child. Embrace co-parenting as an opportunity to model resilience, cooperation, and respect. Contact the Orlando Family Team for more information about co-parenting. We are here to help.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.
Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.