Co-Parenting Schedule Failing? Here’s What You Need to Do.

Co-Parenting Schedule Failing? Here’s What You Need to Do.

Apr 20, 2023

Co-parenting can be a challenging endeavor, especially when you’re trying to navigate the complexities of schedules, custody arrangements, and communication with your ex-partner. If you find that your co-parenting schedule is not working, it’s crucial to take action and find solutions that work for both parents and the children involved. This guide will provide practical advice on what to do when your co-parenting schedule isn’t working, including communication tips, conflict resolution strategies, and resources to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Step 1: Identify the Issues

Before you can address the problems with your co-parenting schedule, it’s essential to identify the specific issues causing it not to work. Some common problems include:

  • Inconsistent schedules due to work or other commitments
  • Difficulty in coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Disagreements about visitation times or custody arrangements
  • Lack of communication between co-parents
  • Conflict arising from parenting styles or decisions

Taking the time to pinpoint the root causes of your scheduling conflicts will make it easier to find solutions that address these issues directly.

Step 2: Communicate with Your Co-Parent

Open and honest communication is key when it comes to resolving scheduling conflicts. It’s important to approach your co-parent calmly and respectfully, expressing your concerns without assigning blame. Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements, as this helps keep the conversation focused on finding a solution rather than placing blame. For example:

“I’m struggling with managing our current schedule because my work hours have changed.”

Rather than:

“You’re making it impossible for me to see the kids because you won’t accommodate my new work schedule.”

By focusing on your concerns and how they impact the co-parenting schedule, you’re more likely to have a productive conversation that leads to positive changes.

Step 3: Be Willing to Compromise

Finding a solution that works for both parents and the children involved often requires some degree of compromise. Be open to considering alternative scheduling arrangements or adjusting your expectations in order to create a more functional co-parenting schedule. Remember that the ultimate goal is to ensure the well-being of your children, and sometimes this means putting their needs ahead of your own preferences.

Step 4: Establish Clear Boundaries

One common issue with co-parenting schedules is that boundaries become blurred, leading to confusion and conflict. Establish clear boundaries regarding pick-up and drop-off times, communication methods (e.g., phone, email, text), and decision-making processes. This will help reduce misunderstandings and make it easier for both parents to adhere to the agreed-upon schedule.

Step 5: Create a Written Parenting Plan

A written parenting plan can be an invaluable tool in maintaining a functional co-parenting schedule. This document should outline all aspects of your custody arrangement, including:

  • The specific days and times each parent will have custody
  • Holiday schedules and vacation time
  • Procedures for making changes to the schedule
  • Routines for pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Guidelines for communication between co-parents

A written parenting plan serves as a reference point for both parents and can help prevent disputes and misunderstandings.

Step 6: Seek Professional Help

If you’re still struggling to find a workable co-parenting schedule, it might be time to seek professional help. Mediators or family therapists can help facilitate conversations between co-parents, assisting with conflict resolution and ensuring that both parties feel heard and understood. In some cases, legal assistance may be necessary if custody arrangements need to be modified or enforced.

Step 7: Prioritize Self-Care

Finally, remember that taking care of yourself is essential when navigating the challenges of co-parenting. Make sure to prioritize self-care by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and seeking support from friends or professionals when needed. A healthy and grounded parent is better equipped to handle the ups and downs of a co-parenting schedule.


Co-parenting schedules can be difficult to manage, but with clear communication, flexibility, and a willingness to compromise, it’s possible to create a schedule that works for everyone involved. By identifying the issues at hand, maintaining open lines of communication with your co-parent, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can create a functional co-parenting arrangement that benefits both parents and children alike.