Raising children can be a challenge for most parents, regardless if they are divorced or not. That said, there is no doubt co-parenting is substantially more challenging for divorced spouses, especially if their split was particularly acrimonious. If you and your co-parent are experiencing some difficulties raising your children in the aftermath of your divorce, there are some tips you can follow to nurture a more functional and effective relationship with each other.
Co-Parenting After a Divorce
Divorce is rarely a walk in the park for anyone and if yours left some deep emotional scars, you might have a hard time proceeding with your relationship as co-parents. It is necessary to put these feelings aside and focus on the needs and wellbeing of your children if you wish to become more effective co-parents. Of course, that does not mean you should ignore your feelings. Instead, you should find a healthy outlet that will help you work through them and, ultimately, heal.
Whether you choose therapy, meditation, take up journaling, or find another outlet for your thoughts, you will find that keeping these emotions out of your co-parenting journey will help you keep the peace.
Here are some other tips for a healthier co-parenting relationship:
- Treat your co-parent like a co-worker: If you ever worked with someone whom you disliked, you probably still afforded this person some respect and prevented your personal feelings from interfering with the task at hand. Try to think of your co-parent in a similar manner. You do not have to be best friends, but you should respect each other’s role as a parent.
- Only communicate directly: Do not use anyone, especially your children, to relay messages to each other. Not only is it not fair to the person caught in the middle, but it can create miscommunication and increase tension and stress. Whether you use to discuss issues in person, over the phone, or via text, make sure you do so directly. Nothing will get lost in translation and it will stir less trouble.
- Follow the court order: When you comply with the court order, whether it be visitation or child support, you will run into fewer bumps in the road. If you believe a modification is necessary to accommodate certain changes, talk to your co-parent about it and, if you cannot agree, petition the court.
- Be supportive of your children’s relationship with their other parent: Your children need and deserve to have a relationship with both of their parents, so be supportive. Remember, this is about your children, so leave your personal feelings about your former spouse out of it.
Just because you and your co-parent are not romantically involved, does not mean you cannot effectively raise your children as a team.
Schedule a Consultation with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
Generally, family courts expect parents to resolve many of their issues without using the legal system as a referee. In some cases, however, legal action is necessary to support the best interests of the children. At Moyer Law, PC, our family law attorney will guide you through every step of your child custody case and provide the compassion advice you deserve.