In many cases, the best thing you can do for your kids when going through a divorce is to develop a co-parenting agreement with your former spouse. While most divorced parents understand the importance of this plan of action, it isn’t always easy to achieve. Divorce is often stressful, emotionally charged, and difficult for everyone involved. The complex issues that arise can make it hard to transition into a stable co-parenting arrangement.
While establishing a co-parenting agreement may be difficult, it isn’t impossible, provided you get the right advice and stick to it. It’s helpful to understand precisely what a co-parenting arrangement is and how other people like you have developed successful plans that work for them and their families.
What Does It Mean to “Co-Parent”?
Some people may be unfamiliar with the term “co-parenting.” Co-parenting after a divorce involves both parents remaining active and present in their children’s lives. This is accomplished through a joint-custody agreement that allows both parents to have extensive time on their own with the kids.
Barring extreme situations such as domestic violence or substance abuse, this is usually by far the healthiest and most positive way to raise your children after a divorce. There is quite a bit of flexibility in how co-parenting works for different families. Finding the right arrangement that fits yours is crucial to maximizing the ability of each parent to spend quality time with their children.
Tips for Co-Parenting With Your Ex-Partner
Co-parenting involves more than just establishing a joint custody agreement during the divorce process. To make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, the following co-parenting tips may be helpful:
- Put the kids first. Co-parenting isn’t about you or your former spouse. It’s about the kids. Put their needs first, even when it’s uncomfortable for you.
- Don’t forget about yourself. Divorcing and becoming a single-parent doesn’t mean that you should stop taking care of yourself. Divorces often happen because people are unhappy and not getting the emotional care they need. Take care of your health and emotional needs. It will make co-parenting easier for everyone
- Be as flexible as possible with your co-parent. Conflicts will inevitably arise, and it’s easy to use them as an excuse to fight with your former spouse. Resist the urge and make sure you both understand that flexibility allows the kids to get the most out of time with their parents.
- Reassure your kids and talk about what is happening. It can be awkward and painful, but you want to be direct and open with your kids in this process. Make sure you listen to their feelings and reassure them that this is not their fault and they are still loved.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your co-parent. You don’t have to be friends with your former spouse, but you need to be able to discuss what is happening and develop the right responses together when dealing with issues that involve your children.
- Be a united team when it comes to the kids. Again, you don’t have to like your former spouse, but you should support them and their parenting choices around your kids. Leave the arguments for when the kids aren’t around.
- Establish a fair schedule and stick to it. All kids need consistency and routine, and this is especially true for children who are experiencing a divorce. Establish a consistent visitation schedule as soon as possible after the divorce. It will make them feel more secure.
How New Beginnings Family Law Can Help After a Divorce
The best way to co-parent successfully is to work out as many of the details and difficulties as possible at the earliest possible time. When you work with New Beginnings Family Law, we can help you set up the best joint custody agreement that enables you to keep your kids settled and their relationships intact from the moment the divorce is finalized.
Contact us by phone or fill out a contact form online to schedule a consultation with an experienced, compassionate member of our team today.