If you have decided to become a Co-Parent and you are looking for a co-parenting partner, there are many important details that will need to be ironed out before you take the plunge.
As well as getting on well with your co-parent it is important that you share the same values and outlook on life, to enable you both to bring up a healthy, happy child.
Here are some the most important questions you should be asking each other before you commit to co-parenting:
If both of you are religious, do you share the same faith? If only one of you is religious, will the religious aspect of a child’s upbringing be respected by the other? Are you both in agreement about how religion will feature in a child’s life?
How to discipline a child? Are you agreed on discipline methods and are you both willing to back each other up should your child play one parent off against the other? You both need to agree to discipline in a similar way. Whether that’s using a naughty step, taking away privileges or giving your child a good telling off. If you against smacking you must make this clear too.
Will your child need child care while you are at work, or can your co-parent do that job? Are you agreed about the type of childcare your child should have and do you agree to pay towards the costs? Are you happy for a family member such as a grandparent to look after your child whilst you are both working?
Trips away from Home
An agreement must be made about one co-parent taking a child out of State or abroad for a holiday or short break. You may not feel comfortable about this when the child is a baby, but maybe you can agree after a certain age, especially if the child’s grand-parents don’t live close by.
Who will be the main decision maker about health matters? You will need to agree who pays for health insurance and dental care. If your child is ill, do you agree to contact the co-parent immediately and will they be able to attend hospital and dental appointments?
If your child has a medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, there must be an agreement about how the child is looked after and who will be the main care giver. Will you both attend appointments, or will one co-parent take on this responsibility?
Will you both share the finances equally, or will one co-parent contribute more if they are in a position to do so. How will the finances be worked out? Will one parent be responsible for buying essentials and then bill the other parent for half the cost?
If you don’t live with your co-parent. You will have to work out a schedule for contact. Do you plan to see the child together in one home, or is the child to split its time between the two of you?
If the child wants to take up an activity out of school, do you both agree to share the costs and will you share the travelling expenses and take the child to and from whatever activity they decide to do?
Holidays and Celebrations
Who will the child spent holidays and celebrations with? Will you celebrate them together or share access?
All of these questions need to be thought about and discussed before you decide to raise a child with a co-parent. Likely there will be more things to add to the list. Each person should make their own list and then you can discuss them together. If you do it before you decide to have a child, then it will make things a lot easier once you are a family.