After a divorce or separation, the parties and the children must adjust to the “new normal” of residing in two separate households. Divorce means the parents will have to take an entirely new approach to parenting their shared children. A united front is still key, even though the parents are no longer living in the same household, as maintaining a positive relationship is essential to helping the children to transition and stabilize. Co-parenting with a former spouse or partner can be challenging, but there are some basic tips to help with establishing a positive co-parenting relationship.
First and foremost is to make sure that the child and his or her happiness is always the primary concern. There can be a lot of hurt feelings and resentment between former spouses and sometimes it is possible to lose sight of the goal of focusing on the child when you are still angry at the other parent. It is very important to focus on the child, even if you are angry of the other parent.
Next is to attempt to remain as emotionally detached from the parenting discussions with the other parent as is possible. Treating the other parenting in a “business-like manner” will help keep tempers calm and smooth discussions and communication.
Third is to make sure that you are always encouraging the child to love the other parent and to develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship with that other parent. Even if the other parent was not a particularly good spouse or partner to you does not mean that it is not essential for a child’s development to have a good relationship with both parents.
Communication is also essential to a positive co-parenting relationship. It is very important to keep the other parent up-to-date on important events such as parent-teacher conferences, as well as medical appointments or behavioral issues. Without a free exchange of information about what is going on with the child in both households, it is not possible for the parents to work together to coordinate their parenting efforts.
Finally, do not be afraid to ask for professional help. Family counseling has helped many people establish better communication and co-parenting with their former spouse or partner. It can also help the child feel more comfortable in both homes.
Co-parenting can be challenging, but it is essential not only for your child custody case’s chances of success, but also for your child’s well-being. Call us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about your child.