Use Mediation to Establish Co- Parenting Expectations for Unwed Couples


Mediation can be a valuable resource for unmarried parents navigating a separation. It offers a structured and neutral environment where both parties can work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. While the legal aspects may differ from those of married couples, the emotional and practical aspects of separating remain. Mediation encourages cooperative problem-solving, unlike litigation, which can be adversarial and costly. A trained mediator can assist in addressing various issues, such as child custody, parenting time schedules, financial arrangements, and division of assets. Exploring mediation as an effective tool for resolving conflicts and fostering positive co-parenting relationships can pave the way for a smoother transition for the parents and children. 


One of the most crucial aspects of separation for parents is maintaining open lines of communication. Creating an environment where both parents can express their needs and concerns openly and honestly is essential. Effective communication helps build trust, reduce conflicts, and ensure the children’s best interests are prioritized throughout the process. Both parents must establish expectations to avoid future conflict by having a shared understanding of their rights and responsibilities for their children. In most cases, families have joint legal custody. Outside of an emergency, parents should discuss important things like the choice of childcare, education, activities for their children, and how medical decisions will be made before making final decisions. It would also be helpful if parents create a parenting plan that includes the child’s everyday schedule, no school days, vacations, and holiday arrangements to avoid conflict when these situations arise.


The Dispute Resolution Center in Olathe, Kansas, specializes in many forms of mediation, including co-parenting concerns. If you are a resident of the Kansas City area and looking for help to find common ground between you and your co-parent during your separation, contact the Dispute Resolution Center at 913-490-3689 for more information today!

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