If you are the parent of a minor child in California and you and your spouse have chosen to separate or get divorced, you’ll need to figure out how to work with your former partner to raise your child. The fact that you are not married to your kid’s other parent does not negate the reality that both adults likely want the best for your child. Now it is up to you to find a way to put that wish into action.

Today’s Parent recommends that separated or divorced moms and dads think of each other like colleagues. Approaching communications and interactions with a professional demeanor may go a long way toward rounding the edges and avoiding unpleasant interactions.

In addition to making a parenting plan, you and your former partner should meet regularly to review and update the plan as your child’s needs and situations change. For example, if your son or daughter gets involved in a new activity, their schedule might force some amendments to your plan. Another important tip is to avoid the urge to respond to every message immediately. If something is upsetting or gets you angry, it may be wise to wait before replying. You could even let the other person know you would like some time to think about the matter.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give separated and divorced parents in California some tips on how they can effectively cooperate with their former partners to help raise their children together.