Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents
Making Joint Custody Work After a Divorce or Separation
The information below describes co-parenting and provides advice for successful co-parenting. In following blog posts, I will provide some additional co-parenting tips.
Co-parenting after a split is rarely easy, especially if you have a contentious relationship with your ex-partner. You may be worried about your ex’s parenting abilities, stressed about child support or other financial issues, feel overcome by conflict, or think that you will never be able to get past all the resentments from your relationship.
But co-parenting amicably with your ex can give your children the security, stability, and close relationships with both parents they need. For your the well-being of your children, it is possible for you to overcome co-parenting challenges and develop a polite working relationship with your ex.
What is co-parenting?
Unless your family has faced serious issues such as domestic violence or substance abuse, co-parenting (having both parents play an active role in their children’s daily lives) is the best way to ensure all your children’s needs are met and they are able to retain close relationships with both parents. Research suggests that the quality of the relationship between co-parents can also have a strong influence on the mental and emotional well-being of children, and the incidence of anxiety and depression. However, putting aside relationship issues, especially after a bitter split, to co-parent agreeably can be easier said than done.
Joint custody arrangements can be exhausting and stressful. It can be extremely difficult to get past the painful history you may have with your ex and overcome built-up resentments. Making shared decisions, interacting with each another at drop-offs, or just speaking to a person that you would rather forget about can seem like dreadful tasks. Nevertheless, despite the many challenges, it is possible to develop an amicable working relationship with your ex for the benefit of your children.
Making co-parenting work
The key to successful co-parenting is to separate the personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship. It may be helpful to start thinking of your relationship with your ex as a completely new one; think of it as one that is entirely about the well-being of your children, and not about either of you. Your relationship may be over, but your family is not; doing what is best for your children is the most important priority. The first step to being a mature, responsible co-parent is to always put your children's needs ahead of your own.
Benefits for your children
Through your co-parenting partnership, your kids should recognize that they are more important than the conflict that ended your relationship. The children should understand that your love for them will prevail despite changing circumstances. Children whose divorced parents have a cooperative relationship:
Feel secure. When confident of the love of both parents, kids adjust more quickly and easily to adjust to new living situations, and have better self-esteem.
Benefit from consistency. Co-parenting fosters similar rules, discipline, and rewards between households, so children know what to expect, and what is expected of them.
Better understand problem solving. Children who see their parents continuing to work together are more likely to learn how to effectively and peacefully solve problems themselves.
Have a healthy example to follow. By cooperating with the other parent, you are establishing a life pattern your children can carry into the future to build and maintain stronger relationships.
Are mentally and emotionally healthier. Children exposed to conflict between co-parents are more likely to develop issues such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD.
If you found this information helpful, look for upcoming additional tips for successful co-parenting.
It is important to consult with an Attorney if you are preparing for a divorce involving children or you think that there has been a change in circumstances that should result in a new Custody or Parenting Time Order.
If you have questions regarding custody of your children, please call me, Attorney Steven Storrs, at 269-945-2242 or click here to contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your options.
*This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney before making important decisions