It’s Important To Have Someone You Trust By Your Side

Preparing to co-parent with someone you don’t know well

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2024 | Custody & Visitation |

Not all co-parents are divorced couples or even couples who had a long-term relationship that ended. Sometimes, people who only had a casual relationship find themselves future parents and decide they both want to be parents and involved in raising the child – just not together.

That’s not just the plot of a sitcom or a romantic comedy. It happens in real life. If that’s the situation you’re in, the first step is probably going to be establishing legal paternity. In California, that can be done by filing a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP).

Working out the legal agreements

Once you do this, you can then start to work out legal agreements detailing custody and a parenting schedule as well as child support or at least a determination of how your child’s expenses will be shared.  

Putting a detailed parenting plan in place is important as well. It’s typically a good idea to include some time when you’re both with your child so they can see you together as their parents. That may be simply an occasional outing, birthday parties and other child-centered events. Note that courts generally won’t approve custody or support agreements until after the child is born.

Co-parenting therapy ahead of becoming parents

That gives future co-parents a chance to get to know each other, whether on their own or through co-parenting therapy – or both. Having a therapist guide you can provide structure to your conversations so that you can better learn about each other’s families (who will likely be part of your child’s life), your beliefs and values and how you want to raise your child.

Working out the legal agreements can be easier in some ways for those who don’t have a long history together – especially one that ended in a bitter breakup. There are still plenty of other challenges. It’s crucial to protect your rights. That’s why each person must have their own legal representation.