Regarding coParents and joint custody, it helps to meet often and hold parenting business meetings on a regular basis.

They are well-planned, complete with agenda, timelines, problem-solving and cooperative attitudes. They are generally held at a coffee shop or similar neutral environment. Rotating responsibility for meeting planning (one parent in odd years, the other in even for example), helps keep both engaged and positively participative.

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Share tasks — if one parent planned the meeting and drafted an agenda, the other parent could take notes and prepare for distribution. Review minutes, make corrections and confirm in a timely manner. Keep your notes to refer to for shared decisions, designation of tasks and timelines established. Refer back to your notes to help with keeping agreements made and following up on commitments.

You and your coParent may expand this model to better fit the unique features of your lifestyle, rhythms, and children’s needs. We encourage you to experiment and discover what works best for you.


About Karen Bonnell

Karen has over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families facing transition, loss, stress and change. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Karen has been Board certified and licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner since 1982. She served on the faculty of University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University & Seattle Pacific University before beginning full-time private practice in 1984. She continues to be a provider of Professional Continuing Education to both health care and legal professionals.

Karen served on the Board of King County Collaborative Law and Collaborative Professionals of Washington. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

Her work is found through Unhooked Books: