Two co-parents who share their child 50-50 will be in constant communication with one another about various parenting matters. As such, it's important for co-parents to establish some ground rules about how they will communicate with one another.
These ground rules – established by including specific language within the parenting agreement – can cover a wide variety of topics. These topics can include not using children as messengers, not getting into arguments about parenting in front of their child and agreeing to obtain the other parent's consent on different topics before giving their child permission to do something. Consider the following:
- No turning the child into a messenger: The parents agree in advance to communicate with one another directly and not turn the child into a messenger. All communication between the parents will be parent-to-parent.
- No important discussions or arguments in front of the child: The parents agree not to have discussions about the child in front of the child. This will help support the child's well-being so that the child doesn't feel like he or she is the source of problems between the parents, for example, if the parents get into an argument or heated discussion about the child. Furthermore, the parents will not get into any arguments in front of the child.
- The parents need to provide consent for the following issues: If the parents get a driver's license or passport for the child, want to change the child's last name, approve of an underage marriage, approve that the child gets a tattoo, piercing or cosmetic medical procedure or approve of the child joining the military, both parents must agree. Barring consent from the other parent, the only way to gain approval for these things is through a court order.
With good planning, parents can create an intelligent parenting plan that protects their children, supports good communication and promotes a good post-divorce relationship between both parents.
Source: CustodyXChange, "Parent Communication," accessed June 08, 2018