If you've been around here long enough you'll know that I ended my relationship with my ex over three years ago now and whilst it's most definitely one of the best decisions I made not only for myself but the boys, it doesn't come without the warning that coparenting is no walk in the park. I am three years deep and this last year has probably been the toughest, but it does mean I've learnt a lot of really valuable lessons along the way that hopefully others going through similar, will find useful. I know over the years people passed on pieces of advice to me, some I took, some I didn't and wish I did, a lot of the time it is about finding your own path naturally - but having another mothers experience can often give people a little insight by sharing my top four tips.

If you're reading this post the chances are you're in a coparenting situation yourself, it's important to remember that everyone has their own unique experience and everyone has a different situation, there is no one size fits all. And like with every other post I've written on my blog over the last nine years, it'll always remain respectful to my children in what I write, but hopefully the jist is there;

1. Get a court order. I know if a split is amicable, like I would say on the whole mine was initially, it may seem quite harsh to get any court involved in custody but you truly don't know when you'll need one, until you'll need one. Without a court order in place, if anyone with parental responsibility takes the children, the police will not intervene at all, even if it goes against anything you've agreed yourself and that's in writing. I obviously learnt this the hard way but thankfully last year my court order was granted and now if the children are not returned at the end of a coparents parenting time, police are able to act on the order. It saves for piece of mind, stability for the children and for the minimal price (I think around £135) it's most definitely worth it. This type of order is called a 'specifics issue' order.

2. Don't discuss the other parent negatively. I'm really hot on this, I can have my opinions on my coparenting situation and I have plenty of people to vent to about that, my children are never the people to be subjected to it. It's unfair, it will never end favourably and children will always remember that kind of thing. My two are most definitely old enough to understand what is being said and even in the most infuriating moments I always hold it together. The boys will often vent about the other parent, but I always do my best to allow them to do so, whilst giving them positives back rather than indulging them in negativity. The last thing anyone wants for the children is for them to not willingly want to go to the other parents household, it's difficult and negatively discussing the other parent around them may contribute to that. Children will grow up and make up their own mind on situations, just like I did myself, they don't need to be needled or coerced. 

3. Partners aren't relevant. This one is really key as most people I know or even anytime you hear / watch of coparenting situations that are awry, a third party is usually involved in the meddling. I don't have anyone else involved with my boys at my house currently, it's just me, however in my previous relationship whilst he was very proactive with the children and always offered his opinion on coparenting situations, he never took an active role in affecting my choices and rightly so. There's a mother, father and the children, they're the only people that should be active in any choices made, from personal experience I've found it really easy to notice the difference when third parties are stirring thoughts into the mix. A case on the wonderful Judge Judy sticks in my mind, regarding a father who was behaving rather slapdash with his children, it was really obvious his new wife had become his mouth piece and in her words 'You won't even remember the sound of her voice in five years time, she'll always be the mother of your children'. 

4. File for child support. Depending on who has primary care, I would always advise filing for child maintenance, for similar reasons to my court order point, people change over time and the weight of someone's word can often decrease. It saves a lot of aggravation and if it isn't paid on time, the right amount hasn't been sent etc, you can just contact CMA themselves and they will deal with it, rather than having to go back and forth between coparents, which can be exhausting and time consuming. My life has certainly been a lot easier since I've done so.

1 comment

  1. Great advice thank you. Sorry you've had to have lived experience to be able to put this helpful advice together for other people ♥️