The courts have really been focusing on the term “co-parenting” in the last few years. When you have children, the courts want the parties to co-parent the children. In other words, cooperate and communicate for the benefit of the children. You treat the other parent in a business-like manner and not the enemy.

This means communicating with the other parent in a positive manner rather than being degrading and condescending. The court almost always order parents to enroll in, attend and complete a co-parenting class. These classes are geared to get the parents to begin working together for the best interest of their children. The children need two good parents in their lives, who are able to communicate and cooperate effectively. If one parent is unwilling to co-parent, the court will take that into consideration in making a custody and visitation schedule and in the extreme case switch custody to the parent who is better able to cooperate with the other parent. I have heard more than one judge say “Love your children more than you hate the other parent.”

In Riverside and San Bernardino County, the courts often order parties to attend the Solutions for Families program. There are other programs and both courts have approved providers that you can get at the clerk’s office or Child Custody Recommending Counselor’s office. For those parents, who were never married to each other, a good program is For those parents, who are married, a good program is