How to Co-Parent Successfully
After a divorce has been finalized, the spouses go their separate ways. If there are no children, they get a clean break. The parties never have to see each other again.
When children are involved, though, things are more complicated. Florida assumes shared child custody, unless there are extreme situations such as abuse or neglect involved. This means that the parents will likely be sharing custody of the children 50/50. Because of this, it can be assumed that the parents will continue to have some degree of contact with each other until the children are adults, or reach age 18. This means that even though you’re divorced, you may still have to see your ex-spouse on a regular basis for the next five, 10 or even 15 years or longer.
This can be a frightening prospect, particularly if you ended the marriage on less than ideal grounds. If you still harbor extreme anger and bitterness toward the other parenting, co-parenting is going to be a challenge. However, by following these tips, you can learn to co-parent successfully.
Set Your Emotions Aside
This will undoubtedly be the hardest hurdle to get over if your marriage did not end amicably. If you still feel angry at your ex-spouse, it’s time to let it go. Your children are the most important thing now, so it’s time to focus on them and helping them adjust to their new normal. Co-parenting is about your child’s happiness and stability.
This can also be challenging, especially if you and your ex-spouse already have problems in the communication department. You may be fine ignoring the other parent, but this isn’t going to work. You need to first find the best mode of communication. You don’t have to talk in person. Email, texts, phone calls and even hand-written notes are all acceptable. However, the content needs to be child-focused and free of a negative tone. To accomplish this, use a cordial business-like tone. Also, make requests instead of demands. Always be willing to listen. Even if you don’t agree with the other parent, listening shows maturity.
Be a Team
You and your ex-spouse have one thing in common: you’re both parents of your children. As such, you should make things easier by working as a team. This means being consistent. While the rules at each house do not have to be identical, there should be similar rules regarding important things such as homework, activities and curfews. The discipline should also be the same. For example, if electronics are off limits at Mom’s house for one month, then they should be at Dad’s house as well.
Seek Legal Help
Trying to parent with your ex-spouse may not be easy. However, by setting your anger aside and focusing on your child’s needs, you can ensure your children are happy, safe and well-cared for.
However, that does not mean co-parenting will be all smiles and rainbows. If you’re having legal issues with the co-parenting process, such as child custody or support issues, contact Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. He can help you resolve your issues. Schedule a consultation today. Fill out the online form or call 954-764-4330.