Some couples divorce and have non-stop issues with co-parenting. No matter what, it seems Mom and Dad can’t seem to work together. In these situations, the parents may have strikingly different rules at their respective homes. They may avoid running into each other at the children’s various activities and keep family celebrations separate. They may badmouth each other’s new partners, and have little, if anything, nice to say about each other. They avoid each other at all costs – nobody wins, especially the kids.
Unfortunately, the byproduct of such a spiteful post-divorce relationship is it almost always affects the children negatively. Children of divorce often feel they have to choose sides, and it can cause a lot of inner turmoil, even if children don’t voice it. Fortunately, there is a lot parents can do to establish a positive co-parenting relationship during and after divorce, which can help shield children from many of the negative consequences of divorce.
Establishing a Healthy Co-Parenting Relationship
One thing parents forget is that because they have children together, their soon-to-be-ex is probably going to be in their lives for a long time, perhaps for the rest of their lives if grandkids enter the equation. If you dream of being one of those single parents who has a healthy co-parenting relationship with your former spouse, one that has grown out of mutual respect, here are some tips:
- Despite why the marriage broke down, treat your spouse with respect.
- Avoid airing the dirty details of your divorce on social media. Better yet, don’t discuss the divorce on social media at all.
- Do not change your status on Facebook from “married” to “single” until the divorce is final.
- If you want to date during your divorce, we recommend discussing it with your spouse and reaching a mutual agreement. This way, he or she isn’t caught off guard and enraged by your dating.
- Do not badmouth your spouse to your children.
- Keep the details of your divorce private among acquaintances, neighbors, teachers, etc. This will help maintain peace between you and your spouse.
- Seriously consider living in the same school district as your former spouse. This will make drop-offs and pick-ups much easier.
- Establish rules for chores, screen time, homework, bedtimes, discipline, and dating (for teenagers), and keep them consistent at both households.
- Be flexible with each other scheduling-wise, and agree to assist each other if something comes up and one of you needs extra help with the kids. Think of it as bonus kid time!
- Be active in your children’s sports and extra-curricular activities, and sit together at their various events.
- Don’t be rude to your ex’s new love in their life. Instead, treat them with respect, and if you don’t like him or her, try to find something nice to say about them. Of course, expect your ex to do the same for your new partner as well.
If you are serious about protecting the bonds with your children, our advice is to: Avoid moving too far away, see your children frequently, and treat their other parent with respect. If you heed this advice and get your ex to do the same, you’re on track to building a healthy and successful co-parenting relationship.
Looking for a divorce attorney in Louisville? Contact Louis P. Winner today.