Regarding coParenting and joint custody, it helps to meet often and hold coParenting business meetings on a regular basis. These coParenting business meetings are well-planned, complete with an 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 involved.

Share tasks — if one coParent planned the meeting and drafted the agenda, the other parent could take notes and prepare for action. Review notes, 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. Since you are in a joint custody coParenting relationship, it will greatly benefit you and your child to decrease negative emotions, increase communication, and work together with your coParent to make joint parenting decisions that are in the best interest of your child.

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.

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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: https://www.unhookedmedia.com/#home.

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