Coordinating schedules, dividing the holidays and transferring your children between houses can be difficult and draining. However, your custody arrangement does not need to be a source of contention and conflict.

A successful co-parenting partnership will help your kids feel secure. But how do you actually achieve that? Here are some co-parenting guidelines you should follow.

1. Remember who it is about

The divorce may have been about you, but child custody is not. You need to prioritize the needs of your children first. Before you make decisions based on your own preferences, you need to consider what will benefit your children most. Your goal must remain to create a good and healthy childhood for your kids. Set aside your ego and remember you will not always get what you want.

2. Be flexible

While you and your former spouse should try your best to stick to the parenting plan, sometimes things do not work out. Sometimes situations come up that make adhering to the parenting plan impractical. For example, if the plan says you are going to have your kids on a particular weekend but an important relative is visiting your ex-spouse, you may want to show flexibility by letting your kids go over for a visit.

3. Find ways to communicate

If you want joint custody to work, you will need to communicate healthily with the other parent. Find the best methods of communicating, whether it is via text, phone calls, Google calendars or email. There are so many ways to talk and coordinate schedules that even if you have trouble with face-to-face discussions, you can still trade important information.

Despite the challenges of making shared decisions and interacting with your former spouse, you can create an amicable co-parenting relationship for the sake of your kids. Keep these three tips in mind whenever you experience frustration with co-parenting.