Embarking on a co-parenting relationship is a huge adjustment from living the married life. Some people have problems making that change from being in a romantic relationship to simply coming together to parent their children. When you aren’t married any longer and live in separate homes, there are a few things that you can do to make the situation better for everyone involved.

One of the most important things you can do when you are newly split from your ex is to come up with a concise parenting plan that keeps the focus on your children. Before you go into the first session to come up with the components of the plan, you have to think about what you would like to see included.

Write out a list of things that you feel are important for the children. Discuss these with your ex so an agreement can be made about what to put into the plan. Remember that you and your ex might not fully agree on these points, so you have to leave room for compromise. Part of the mediation process is the negotiations that get the problems solved.

You and your ex aren’t going to be able to just leave each other alone once the parenting plan is made. Constant communication is likely going to be necessary when you are co-parenting. Make sure that you commit to keeping these exchanges respectful so that your children have a positive experience. You might think that your interactions with your ex don’t matter much, but your kids are watching everything that you do when they are around.