Tips for Effective Co-Parenting in Joint Custody

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jun 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

Factors for Co-Parenting in Pennsylvania Courts

In Pennsylvania, courts are required to consider a number of factors in determining the best interests of the child for joint custody purposes in a divorce. These include the level of cooperation between parents, the level of conflict between parents, and which parent is more likely to encourage frequent contact between child and parent. Since chronic conflict between parents with joint custody can put a child at risk for depression, anxiety, and acting out behavior, it is in the best interests of the child for parents to adopt a solutions-based approach to co-parenting. If you or a family member are experiencing custody or co-parenting issues in Pennsylvania, then the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team can help you face and resolve those issues while protecting all your legal rights. Call the offices today at 888.535.3686 or contact us.

The BIFF Response for Effective Co-Parenting

The Pennsylvania Courts and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, family division, have advocated a conflict resolution method called BIFF for more effective co-parenting in joint custody situations. BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm. Brief means keeping the interaction short- two to five sentences. Informative means conveying custodial information in a straightforward and useful manner that is focused on the child's best interests. Friendly means to begin contact with a polite greeting and end with a friendly comment. Firm means to be a matter of fact and clearly finalize the next steps through discussion. It also means not to respond in a combative manner when one parent becomes combative in tone, either verbally or in writing.

Co-Parenting Mistakes

Co-parenting requires each parent to commit to effective communication to have their child feel supported and safe with both parents. This often requires flexibility as well, especially during times of exchanges of the children between the parents. A rigid or defensive attitude can lead to custody mistakes. Even if a child does not understand all the words in a heated exchange between parents, they feel the tone and observe the body language. This not only puts the child at risk but the entire joint custody arrangement at risk. One of the worst things a parent can do is vent their frustrations about their ex-spouse on Social Media. For example, instead of complaining about how the other parent forgot to bring shin guards to the exchange for a child's sports event again, consider having an extra set of essential items at each custodial home.

When Things Go Seriously Wrong in Joint Custody

A child is no longer safe when a co-parent goes from being verbally combative to being physically abusive either to the ex-spouse or their child. An NBC 4 Washington report discussed recent App research in bruise analysis regardless of skin color and how bruise evidence may be used in court during custody cases with victims of domestic violence. Dating the age of bruises by color can still be problematic in court, however, and could lead to improper outcomes. If you are involved in a domestic violence issue in child custody in Pennsylvania, it is essential to contact the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team, who can help you preserve all your rights under the law. Call the offices today at 888.535.3686 or contact us.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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