Co-parenting after a divorce can be a major challenge, particularly for parents who ended their marriage on a particularly sour note. It is important to remember that both of you still share a common interest – the wellbeing of your children. Learning to amicably co-parent with your ex-spouse will help your children feel secure, safe, and stable, so it is crucial to set aside your past grievances to accomplish this.
Co-Parenting Tips for Former Spouses
It is far easier said than done, of course, to set aside the problems that led up to your divorce and everything that might have arisen throughout the process. However, the quality of your relationship with your former spouse will have a profound impact on your children’s mental health and their ability to cope with your family’s new dynamic, which is why it is so vital for you to learn how to overcome these obstacles.
We compiled a list of tips that will help you get started:
- Do not put your children in the middle of your conflicts: It will undoubtedly be tempting to complain about co-parent to your children, but they are not the appropriate parties to vent to. You should also refrain from using them as messengers in any of your conflicts with your ex-spouse. Doing so puts them in a terrible position and they might even feel pressured to choose sides. Handle your own conflicts without getting them involved and, if you need to talk to someone about these problems, turn to a friend, family member, or hire a therapist.
- Work on communicating: To reduce the chances of conflict, keep your conversations with your former spouse centered on your children. You should also figure out what is the best form of communication. If your in-person interactions tend to become more heated, consider communicating over the phone or through text messages.
- Raise your children as a team: It should be a given that co-parenting should be a team effort, but this can be easy to forget if you are fixated on the issues you have with your former spouse. Keep in mind that you are not competing for your children’s affections. You are both in this together and should aim for consistency and stability in both households. Work together to decide on house rules, disciplinary actions, and rewards for your children.
- Help make visits easier: A good rule of thumb is to never pick up your children from your co-parent since it can feel a lot like you are taking them away. Instead, agree to drop off your children at each other’s home. Moreover, never make your children feel guilty about the time they spent with their other parent. Be supportive of their relationship. You can even help them pack for their visit to ensure they do not forget anything. Helping them pack can also mentally prepare them for their visit.
Arguments will likely still come up while you continue to work on your co-parenting relationship. However, how you handle these bumps along the way will strengthen your ability to work together and raise your children in an environment that helps them thrive.
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Family law matters are some of the most emotional and complex most will ever have to face. At Empire Law, our team is committed to providing the skilled legal guidance you need to successfully overcome these issues, so you and your family can move forward.
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