In Colorado, courts prefer to split parenting time evenly between both parents when it serves the child’s best interests. Both co-parents share in all parental responsibilities.
While this shared responsibility can improve the life of the children, many common disputes cause friction among co-parents.
1. Fighting or arguing in front of the children
Arguing and yelling in front of your children can cause lasting emotional harm. If you cannot speak calmly or civilly to your co-parent, do not speak with them in the presence of your children. Put your emotions aside during any contact with your co-parent and focus solely on the needs of your children.
2. Putting your children in the middle
There are many negative ways to put your children in the middle. Avoid using them to pass messages between yourself and your co-parent. Do not try to compete for your children’s affection by outdoing your co-parent. Do not talk negatively to your children about your co-parent. Children should never have to defend one parent from the other.
3. Not agreeing on rules or discipline
Regardless of how you may feel about your co-parent, stability is beneficial for children. Try to agree on a standard set of rules and consequences that your children can expect to encounter in both homes. Agree on a bedtime, time spent doing homework and screentime. When a child breaks a rule, the punishment should apply in both homes. For example, if a child loses television privileges for a week, they should lose those privileges for the entire week, even if they transition between homes during that time.
Co-parenting conflicts often affect the mental and emotional well-being of the children. Make an effort to communicate peacefully with your co-parent to create a healthy, stable environment for your children.