Divorce is a challenge for everyone involved, especially children. Ideally, both of you will want to continue being part of their lives, which means you’ll have to learn to co-parent with one another.
Co-parenting is essential for your children’s well-being. For this reason, you’ll need to think about how you’ll work together to achieve harmony. This situation doesn’t have to invoke anxiety in you. There are ways in which you and your ex-spouse can do a great job of co-parenting peacefully. In this article, we will discuss co-parenting, with a few things that will help you along the way.
There are do’s and don’ts in this process. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the things you should focus on first.
1. Set Aside Feelings of Hurt and Anger
To be a successful co-parent, you’ll need to let go of your own emotions (e.g., anger, resentment, hurt). Setting aside these feelings may be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever need to do, but you must do so. Your children’s happiness, stability, and future well-being must come first.
2. Work on Communicating with Your Ex-Spouse
Co-parenting success is dependent on your ability to have peaceful, consistent, and purposeful communication with your ex-spouse, even when it seems impossible. It starts with having the mindset that your children’s well-being is what’s most important to both of you. Therefore they should be the focal point of every conversation the two of you have.
3. Make Transitions and Visitations as Easy as Possible
Whether it happens every few days or just certain weekends, the actual move from one household to another can be a challenging time for children. When they resume living with one of you, they must also separate from the other. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid these transitions. However, you should do your best to make them as easy as possible for your child.
4. Work on Being a Team with Your Ex-Spouse
Part of co-parenting is working with your ex-spouse to make the best decisions for your children. It doesn’t matter how much you dislike each other. Your children must come first. To make this work, you can’t spend your time bickering and having major blow-ups. Instead, you need to be cooperative and communicative.
Things You Shouldn’t do While Co-Parenting
Just as important as the things you should do while co-parenting are the things you shouldn’t do. By remembering these things, they’ll better equip you to co-parent with your ex-spouse successfully.
1. Don’t Burden Your Children
You should never involve your children in emotionally charged issues regarding your ex-spouse or attempt to get information about them from your children. Don’t sabotage their relationship with their other parent by disparaging them or trying to sway your child in any way. These actions will only make things more difficult for your child.
2. Don’t Jump to Conclusions
Instead of reacting when your children say things that upset you, take a breath and bite your tongue. You must remain neutral, or your children may learn to resent or distrust you.
3. Don’t be Accusational
When you’re upset by something your ex-spouse is doing while co-parenting, you shouldn’t remain quiet. It is important that you discuss it with them. This discussion is essential for your children’s healthy development.
While having this discussion, make sure you don’t engage in finger-pointing. Instead, your focus needs to remain on your children. Avoid an accusatory tone and attempt to keep the conversation productive.
4. Don’t Give Into Guilt
Instead of allowing yourself to give in to guilt, remind yourself that divorce is a difficult experience that is trying for everyone. By allowing yourself to feel guilty for not being in your children’s life on a full-time basis, you may find you become overindulgent. Granting your children everything they want isn’t a good parenting style, and can negatively affect their development and expectations.
Get Help Working Towards an Amicable Co-Parenting Plan
The legal needs and situations of each person are unique. So don’t miss out on a chance to learn what you can do to prepare yourself for the particulars of your situation. The legal world can be daunting, so make sure you have professional help by your side when you need it.
Attorney Hunter Fowler makes the needs of you and your family his top priority and does the work to understand your unique situation and craft strong legal solutions. Contact experienced divorce attorney Hunter Fowler for compassionate, confident representation. He will work closely with you to help you prepare your co-parenting plan, and make the transition from marriage through divorce as stress-free as possible.