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What is the legal definition of co-parenting? Co parenting is a process where two parents work together to raise a child even though they are divorced or separated and no longer live together. In a co-parenting situation there will be a co parenting agreement. An agreement between both parents to assure that everyone involved with raising the children adheres to similar values and works towards the same goals.

Unless there has been domestic violence or substance abuse, co-parenting is the best way to ensure that all your children’s needs are met and enable them to retain close relationships with both parents. Research suggests that the quality of the relationship between co-parents can also have a strong influence on the mental and emotional well-being of children.

Joint custody arrangements can be exhausting, infuriating, and riddled with stress, especially if you have a contentious relationship with your ex. Concern about your ex’s parenting abilities, worries about child support or other financial issues, constant conflict, or struggling to overcome resentments left over from your relationship can all take a very real toll. Making shared decisions, interacting at drop-offs, or even communications with the one another in general can seem like impossible tasks. It is possible however, and necessary for the sake of your kids, to overcome co-parenting challenges and develop a cordial relationship with your ex.

The key is to separate the personal relationship from the co-parenting relationship. Acting in the best interest of the kids is your most important priority. Be a mature, responsible co-parent by always putting your children’s needs ahead of your own personal agenda. You can accomplish this by:

  • Separating feelings from behavior. Sure, you are hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Working cooperatively with the other parent is what’s best for your children. Let this motivate your actions.
  • Don’t put your children in the middle. Compartmentalize your feelings of resentment and bitterness about your break up. They are your issues, not your child’s. Never use kids as messengers. Using your children to convey messages to your ex puts them in the center of your conflict. Keep your issues to yourself. Don’t say negative things about your ex to your children or make them feel like they have to choose.
  • Improve communication. In all methods of communication, the following can help maintain effective communication. Set a business-like tone: Speak or write to your ex as you would a colleague. Use respect and neutrality in your messages and conversations. Make requests: Statements can be misinterpreted as demands. Try using things like, “Would you be willing to…? Or “Can we try…?” Show restraint: Communicating with each other is something you’re going to have to do for their entire childhood. You can be intentional about not overreacting to your ex. Over time you can become numb to the buttons they try to push.

In the end if things become too toxic. Seek the help of a reputable family law attorney to help you navigate the difficulties and make decisions as to how to proceed in the best interest of your children. Call us now to schedule your free consultation. At Dodge & Vega, PLC we believe you should never have to pay a fee for an initial consultation: 480-656-8333.

Additional Resources include checking out Arizona Family Laws including but not limited to the rule on Parenting Plans which specifically deals with co parenting issues. The text of this rule is below for your consideration:

ARS 25-403.02 – Parenting Plans

A. If the child’s parents cannot agree on a plan for legal decision-making or parenting time, each parent must submit a proposed parenting plan.

B. Consistent with the child’s best interests in section 25-403 and sections 25-403.03, 25-403.04 and 25-403.05, the court shall adopt a parenting plan that provides for both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that maximizes their respective parenting time. The court shall not prefer a parent’s proposed plan because of the parent’s or child’s gender.

C. Parenting plans shall include at least the following:

1. A designation of the legal decision-making as joint or sole as defined in section 25-401.

2. Each parent’s rights and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and for decisions in areas such as education, health care and religious training.

3. A practical schedule of parenting time for the child, including holidays and school vacations.

4. A procedure for the exchanges of the child, including location and responsibility for transportation.

5. A procedure by which proposed changes, relocation of where a child resides with either parent pursuant to section 25-408, disputes and alleged breaches may be mediated or resolved, which may include the use of conciliation services or private counseling.

6. A procedure for periodic review of the plan’s terms by the parents.

7. A procedure for communicating with each other about the child, including methods and frequency.

8. A statement that each party has read, understands and will abide by the notification requirements of section 25-403.05, subsection B.

D. If the parents are unable to agree on any element to be included in a parenting plan, the court shall determine that element. The court may determine other factors that are necessary to promote and protect the emotional and physical health of the child.

E. Shared legal decision-making does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

We are here for you. Hopefully your co parenting relationship doesn’t need the help of an attorney, but often they do. Call us and we will schedule your free consultation: 480-656-8333.

Written By:

Brandi Collins, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

Dodge & Vega PLC founded by Ben Dodge, attorney at law. Ben owns and manages a law firm of Affordable Arizona Family Law, Personal Injury, and Bankruptcy Lawyers. He is a nationally certified trial attorney, entrepreneur, endurance Athlete, and extreme Ultra Cyclist.

Ben Dodge, Esq.

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is.

Ben Dodge, Trial Lawyer and NITA Advocate

In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge Ben is one a very few lawyers trained in advance litigation skills through the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA) and has earned the designation as a NITA Advocate.

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Top 10 Tips For Co-Parenting

Are you tired of constant arguing and bickering with your ex about the kids, about their activities, about the parenting time schedule, about paying for the kids’ braces, about…everything really?

Or are you one of the lucky few yet to experience a breakdown in the co-parenting relationship and on the search for the secret of how to avoid such struggle?

No matter which boat you currently find yourself in, you are not alone! Arizona ranks as the state with the 13th highest divorce rate, and is 15% higher than the national average. But do not lament! There are a lot of co-parents out there and, lucky for you, many have successfully navigated the co-parenting waters and shared their experiences and tips with us. Here are our top #10 tips for effective co-parenting, in no particular order:

  1. Put pride aside and put the kids first. Center your decisions around what is best for your kids. They didn’t ask to be in this situation – and now it’s your job to advocate for them. One of the more common co-parenting squabbles we often see involve giving parental consent. It’s easy to automatically say “no” to anything your ex asks of you. I mean, they’re your ex for a reason. But is an automatic “no” the best decision for your kids? For example, let’s say your ex asks you to sign a permission slip to allow the kids to participate in afterschool painting classes on your ex’s “days.” If the kids want to do it, don’t hold back your consent out of spite because your mad at your ex. Let the kids paint!!

 

  1. Communicate – appropriately and respectively – directly with your ex (unless prohibited by court order). Both parents need to be aware of the kids’ schedule, routine, activities, appointments, etc. Be courteous in your texts/emails, business-like, and timely respond to message from your ex.

 

  1. Diffuse conflict. Do not communicate with your ex in an argument or when tensions are on high. Calm down and collect your thoughts first. Successful communication requires level heads and is not best done via a 2AM ranting text message

 

  1. Do not badmouth or bash your ex on social media. If other adults are involved, such as new spouses or older siblings, this applies to them too. Commit to positive talk around the children.

 

  1. Play nice and be nice – even when you don’t want to – and always when the kids are within eye or ear-shot. And make the child exchanges short and sweet – less opportunity to quarrel.

 

  1. Be patient. A successful co-parenting relationship takes time to nurture. Do not get discouraged if you still experience some bumps in the road. Co-parenting will challenge you.

 

  1. Learn to negotiate and compromise schedules. If you are flexible to your ex’s requests, chances are they will be more likely to be flexible to your requests. For example, your sister is flying into town next Friday and your kids haven’t seen her in years. But next Friday is your ex’s “day.” Do you think your ex will be more likely to switch “days” with you if you extended the same courtesy to them the last time they asked for a switch?

 

  1. Be on the same page. Strive for a unified parenting approach, with similar expectations and rules in each household (i.e., same bed time, homework rules, cell phone rules, etc.). Providing your kids with consistency, across both households, will increase their sense of security and safety, and overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Know when it’s time to seek outside input. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on big decisions, like school selection for next year, you may want to consider talking with your ex to a mediator. Mediators can be a great resource to settle these types of disputes without having to get the courts involved again, which we all know is a long and costly process.

 

  1. Practice empathy. Towards your kids and towards your ex. Try to put yourself in their shoes when navigating a sticky situation.

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Randi Partain, Senior Family Law Paralegal, Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq.

Ben Dodge, Esq., Affordable Arizona Family Law Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance Athlete, Ultra Cyclist

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Right now, we are in the thick of the holiday season. For divorced families or families going through divorces, juggling holiday schedules can be quite overwhelming and emotional. They have to decide which parent gets to spend which holiday with the children, often leaving the other parent without his or her kids during the holiday and with a huge void in his or her heart.

Is there a way around alternating holidays with your ex? The short answer is yes! In Arizona, parties have flexibility in how they structure their parenting time schedules. They can spend as much or as little time co-parenting as they want. Even if there is a court-ordered parenting time schedule in place, if both parties consent, they can make changes to the schedule that are in the best interest of their children. So, for example, if 2015 is Mom’s year to be with the kids for Christmas per the court-ordered parenting time schedule, Dad can crash the fun if Mom is on board with that game plan. The kids would likely cherish the special time with both of their parents. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey provide a great example of how co-parenting during the holiday season could work.

Enjoy your holiday season with your loved ones!