Psychotherapist shares top 5 co-parenting tips for divorced parents

It's hard to get used to the post-divorce dynamic, but don't let it impact your parenting approach

Co-parenting tips for divorced parents
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If you're struggling to adjust to a new co-parenting arrangement post-divorce, you're not alone. But with these co-parenting tips for divorced parents, devised by a psychotherapist, the transition will be a little bit easier.

When you've realised it's the right time to walk away from a relationship, your first thought is likely about your children; How are they going to react to the news? Where are they going to live? How will they adjust to living without both of their parents all the time? 

One of the biggest struggles going into a new co-parenting arrangement is often the arduous task of keeping it civil for the sake of the kids. But that's difficult when there's emotional baggage left over from the failed relationship and perhaps you're also clashing on what parenting style to rely on through the change. 

But now Licensed Psychotherapist Zuania Capó has revealed her top tips for divorced couples to co-parent in harmony - and they're actually very simple. 

Writing for She Knows, her first tip is to 'establish clear communication,' which is easier said than done. Still, she urges divorced couples to 'share important information about your children’s well-being, school, and activities' and to do so in a 'neutral and respectful tone.' This will become easier as you establish your co-parenting boundaries with one another and follow through with her second tip, 'create a co-parenting plan.'

"Having a clear roadmap helps reduce misunderstandings and provides a structured framework for co-parenting," Capó explains. "Aim for consistent rules and expectations across both households. This helps create stability for the children, reducing confusion and making the transition between homes smoother. It also ensures that children understand the expectations and consequences on both sides, promoting a sense of fairness and stability in their lives."

But while you put in place plans, boundaries and roadmaps for the benefit of your kids, it's also important to listen to their input rather than just handle everything for them. Capó says, "Amidst the complexities of post-divorce dynamics, it’s essential to create an environment where our children feel heard and valued. By actively listening to their aspirations, concerns, and preferences, we not only strengthen our connection with them but also empower them to express themselves openly." This can also teach both kids and parents how to better deal with family conflicts when they arise. 

Capó's also reminds co-parenting couples that sticking to the plan is not always possible. "Life is unpredictable, and flexibility is crucial," she says. "Be open to adapting schedules when necessary and accommodating changes due to work, emergencies, or unexpected events. A flexible mindset contributes to a more cooperative co-parenting dynamic."

But for all the practical tips and tricks you can put into use, perhaps the most important is to remember that 'It's not personal.' The expert understands that 'it’s easy to let emotions run high, especially when dealing with a former romantic partner' but urges co-parenting couples to remember that 'the actions and words of the other person are often reflections of their own struggles and not a personal attack.'

She says, "By focusing on fostering a positive co-parenting dynamic and recognising that both parties may make mistakes but ultimately have the same goal – the happiness and growth of the children – we can navigate challenges with grace and resilience."

If you are struggling with any aspect of parenting, keep up to date with all our family news and parenting advice like Parenting coach shares 7 symptoms of parental burnout and ideas on how you can cope with it, and How to respond when your kid says ‘I hate you’ – and 3 ways to understand how they’re really feeling, as well as Feeling disconnected from your partner after having a baby is completely normal (and you're not alone)

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.