Getting a divorce is an emotionally challenging process, but when it’s the right decision for you and your children, you can easily overcome all of the challenges and obstacles that you will face throughout this grueling process. The challenges don’t end when the divorce is finalized. If you and your former spouse have children together, you will likely be co-parenting in some capacity for years to come. This can be difficult, especially if there was a lot of animosity in the ending of your marriage. Still, for most, children are the highest priority. When you know that co-parenting with your ex is what is best for your kids, you want to do it as well as possible. Read on to discover our co-parenting tips.
1. Treat your ex with kindness and respect in all matters.
Your demeanor towards your ex will inevitably seep into the way you co-parent. Children are very perceptive. If you are slipping insults and backhanded comments into your interactions with your ex at every opportunity, your child will be aware of it. This creates discord, discomfort, and feelings of instability. Children also learn by imitating their parents, so you should treat your co-parent (and everyone else) the way you want your child to treat people.
2. Communicate clearly about schedules.
Make sure there is no gray area when it comes to logistical things such as drop off and pick up times. If you both stick to the schedules that you plan in advance, you demonstrate mutual respect and save each other large amounts of frustration.
3. Rules should be consistent between households.
The younger your children are, the more important this tip is. It can be extremely confusing for children if snacking on crackers in bed is okay at Mommy’s house but results in a scolding at Daddy’s. Divorce often cause children to feel insecure, and inconsistent rules can really exacerbate this problem.
4. No trash-talking.
Never, ever say bad things about your ex to your child. Not only is this disrespectful, but it also undermines his or her authority in your child’s mind and makes it more difficult to parent effectively. This doesn’t benefit anyone in any way. If you need to vent, do it with your friends, not your children.
5. Don’t make your child the messenger.
Don’t communicate with your spouse through your child. When you send messages through your child, things can get distorted. Worse, it can make your child feel trapped between you. They may also feel guilty if things don’t go according to plan, because being the messenger makes them feel responsible for your relationship and for you not getting along well enough with one another. Communication is key, but it needs to be between you and your co-parent with no middleman.
If you are facing divorce or any other family law matter, the OMG Law Firm can provide for all of your family law needs. We have extensive experience in these matters and would use our 30+ years of knowledge and experience to your benefit. If you are ready to get started or have questions, give us a call at (870) 330-7324.