Cooperative parenting is a process whereby parents
living apart agree to act jointly in the best interests of
their children, by establishing two homes for them and by
consulting with one another concerning the needs of the
children and their own needs as co-parents.
The following is a co-parenting agreement that you may
wish to agree to:
We agree to act as co-parents to our children as
Both parents may attend any activities in which the
Either parent may enter the children
into activities which occur exclusively during that
parent's custodial period and which do not involve the
other parent's time or money.
Neither parent may enter the
children into any activity which involves the other
parent's time or money without obtaining the other
- Information Sharing:
Information concerning minor medical or emergency medical
procedures will be shared as soon as possible with the
Each parent will communicate with the other
parent information about the children's extra-curricular
activities. This will include a schedule and the name and
phone number of the activity leader if available.
Information concerning the children's school data will be
transferred between the parents. This will include report
cards, progress reports, homework, information concerning
school pictures, school programs in which the children
participate, and parent related activities (parent-teacher
conferences, back to school night, etc.).
- Decision Making:
Major decisions will be made jointly. This includes major
medical, major dental, and psychological treatment, grade
and special program placement, and change of schools.
- Problem Solving:
The parties agree to meet in a calm, quiet, uninterrupted
environment to discuss any child custody or child care
problem. The parties will meet jointly with physicians,
educators, psychologists, law enforcement authorities, or
other professionals as needed to work toward any custody
or child behavior problem.
This provision does not
preclude either parent from meeting separately with such
professionals, but each will inform the other of such
meetings in advance whenever possible, and always as soon
Each parent will give full written
authorization to the other to obtain any information
concerning any counseling, treatment, or other records.
the parties cannot resolve a dispute under this agreement
by separate discussion and negotiation, then as a
condition precedent to seeking a court order of any kind,
the parties will mediate their dispute with a mediator, or
another having expertise in family and child custody
issues agreed upon by the parties. The parties will bear
this expense equally.
STATEMENT OF RESPECT
Neither party will denigrate or demean the character or
behavior of the other in the presence of the children, but
will generally rather refer to the other parent with
- We will share in both the joys and the burdens of
raising our children as we share in the decision
making processes related to their health, education,
religious training, recreational activities, and
general well being.
- Although there may be disagreements between us, we
will not permit them to be inflicted upon our
children. We acknowledge that we are both good people
who are simply unable to live together. We believe
that every child should have in his or her mind an
image of two good parents, and we will work toward
- We will leave our children free to love and respect
both of us. We will not discuss the shortcomings of
the other parent in front of the children, nor permit
others to do so.
- We will work toward maintaining a friendly
relationship and will try to be considerate of each
other's feelings and concerns.
- We will not use our tiffle with our children as an
excuse to continue arguments between us.
- When either of us is with our children, we will be
discreet if we are including others with whom we may
- We will make the period of time with our children a
normal experience. Every time we are together does not
have to be "Disneyland" for them.
- In planning time with the children, especially as
they become older, we will be sure to consider their
needs and wishes.
- We will make the time with our children as pleasant
as possible by showing our interest in their
activities and avoiding questions regarding the
activities of the other parent. Also, we will not make
promises to them unless we know that we can keep them.
- Each parent will notify the other as soon as
possible if he or she is unable to keep the agreed
upon schedule, as failure to give notice is unfair to
the other parent and the children.
- Neither parent will schedule activities which
conflict with the other parents custody, however, if
one parent has plans for the children that are
conflicting, and these plans are in the best interests
of the children, we will be adult, and arrive at an
- The parent with whom the children have' just been
living will prepare the children both physically and
emotionally for spending time with the other parent,
and have them available at the time agreed upon.
- WE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE AND RESPECT ANY DIFFERENCES WE
HAVE IN OUR PARENTING TECHNIQUES AND ATTEMPT TO
RECONCILE THOSE DIFFERENCES, AS WE WORK TOGETHER FOR
THE BEST INTERESTS OF OUR CHILDREN.
Article is based on Co-Parenting