On behalf of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in blog on Friday, August 25, 2017.
When parents divorce, child custody disputes may often involve stress and anxiety. The loss of trust between spouses after a marriage breaks down can fuel animosity, making child custody decisions complicated. Today, many parents understand the importance of co-parenting after divorce. Coming to terms with the idea of shared parenting responsibilities even before the divorce is final can help to ease stress during an emotional time. For many, however, that is often easier said than done.
When parents agree to put the children first, it becomes easier to construct a custody arrangement and parenting plan that works for the benefit of the children. When parents work together after divorce to raise their children as “co-parents” despite their differences, the experience can be more positive and provide a stronger foundation for the children.
We have compiled a short list of co-parenting tips to assist you in clearing the air in developing a workable custody and visitation arrangement with your soon to be ex-spouse:
When it comes to the kids–communication is important: Parents who are able to set aside their differences when discussing a parenting plan often are able to create a positive environment for the children. You do not have to have regular face-to-face contact. You can go on with your own personal lives after divorce. However, keeping the lines of communication open, through a simple text message, phone call or email, can allow you and your ex to keep up to date on the issues your children are experiencing on a daily basis.
Remain positive in front of the children: While you and your spouse have decided to separate, you each will likely remain a part of your children’s lives into the future. Disparaging your ex in front of the children can have a negative impact on the children. Children have an inherent relationship with both parents, even after the split, and disparaging each other or arguing in front of the children can undermine those relationships.
Try to create consistent rules in both houses: Health professionals say that children benefit from stability, structure and common routines. The days of the strict parent and the “fun” parent are waning as more and more divorced parents share parenting responsibilities. Creating consistent rules, and providing a united front, can provide a stable foundation for your children.
Remain flexible when adaptability will benefit the children: You will likely continue to have disputes with your ex into the future. However, as children grow, their needs, desires and hopes often change. Adapting to change when it is in the best interest of each child can provide positive benefits to you and your children.
Working together after divorce is known to allow children to flourish. When the divorce process is new, it can be difficult to look past emotions to create a parenting plan that serves your post divorce family dynamics. Working with a skilled child custody lawyer can help you to understand the full implications of the decisions you make today, which will affect your post divorce life.