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Divorce and custody arrangements can take a toll on a child’s life. Continue reading to learn the dos and don’ts of co-parenting and do not wait to reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled Bergen County child custody attorney.

What are the don’ts?

First, you will want to understand the actions to avoid when co-parenting. They include:

  • Allowing your child to speak badly about the other parent.
  • Harming your child’s relationship with the other parent.
  • Using your child as a means to get back at or harm your former spouse.
  • Using your child to obtain information or to exploit and/or control your former spouse.
  • Transfering hurt feelings and/or frustrations toward your former spouse onto your child.
  • Forcing your child to pick a side when there is a conflict with scheduling.
  • Turning the strain on your child.
  • Depending too much on your child for friendship or support because you are going through a divorce.
  • Become so emotionally reliant that your child begins to feel guilty if they put time into relationships with others. You would not want to find out they turned down social outings because they were afraid you would be unable of having alone time.

What are the dos?

On the other hand, below are a few helpful ways that you can foster a healthy co-parenting relationship. You can do this by setting boundaries, like:

  • Negotiate how you will handle visitation, holidays, and events.
  • Create an affirmative plan that puts aside differences you may have. The focus should be on fulfilling the needs of the children you are co-parenting.
  • Create behavioral guidelines for raising your children that you will each follow. It is essential to understand that you will want your children to have consistency in their lives, no matter which parent they are with. This includes bedtimes, phone privileges, etc.
  • Keep in mind that a child will typically test a situation and abuse boundaries. Be prepared and stay strong.
  • Arrange the roles of extended family members.
  • Create lines of open communication about all elements of your child’s development. This includes being able to compare notes on a situation before choosing a punishment.
  • Even though it can be emotionally difficult, you and your co-parent need to choose to keep each other informed about changes in your life circumstances. The child should never be your direct source of information.
  • Dedicate yourself to having emotional integrity.


Here at McNerney & McAuliffe, we understand how confusing certain legal matters can be, which is why we are here to provide clients from all walks of life with the experienced, compassionate legal guidance they need. If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, you can turn to us. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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