The key to a successful co-parenting relationship is creating a peaceful and loving environment for your child. Those goals can usually be accomplished when parents abide by the terms of their parenting plan while remaining flexible with their ex.
Regardless of whether Texas co-parents get along or try to avoid contact, it’s crucial to detail the co-parenting relationship by keeping a journal, which may be a book or an app that keeps comprehensive records.
Details to include in a co-parenting journal
Diligence and consistency are the keys. You should make an entry after every exchange with the other parent. Include the date and time for items, such as:
- Late drop-offs and pick-ups
- Canceled or late appointments
- Medical appointments and health care details
- Discussions about your child with your ex
- Your child’s emotions and moods after they interact with the other parent
- Changes in your child’s behavior
- Issues you need to discuss with your co-parent
- How your child is doing in school and other activities
- Milestones and other significant events in your child’s life
- Anything else that’s pertinent to the co-parenting relationship
If or when issues arise, you can share this information with your family law attorney in the event any legal action becomes necessary.
Types of journals to consider
Documenting your co-parenting relationship can be as simple or sophisticated as you prefer. Journals to consider include:
- Spiral-ringed notebooks for those not digitally inclined
- Free note-taking apps, such as Google Keep
- Free and subscription-based co-parenting apps, including TalkingParents, OurFamilyWizard and Coparently
Many of these apps can also log and record phone calls and keep track of emails, texts and other digital communications. Some can cost $20 a month or more with all the options.
Be honest and avoid emotional content
Just as in most things, honesty is the best policy in keeping a co-parenting journal. After all, your child’s best interests are at stake. Above all, avoid emotional entries and don’t treat it as a personal diary as your lawyer, your ex-spouse’s lawyer, the judge and other professionals may have access to this information.