As divorcing parents, you will never be entirely free of each other. You still need to work together to raise your children. Co-parenting after divorce may seem a daunting prospect, especially if your divorce is conflictive. Yet, there are ways to make it easier.
Co-parenting is not about the two of you, it is about your children. You need to put your differences aside to do what is best for your child.
Communication is key to co-parenting
Ultimately, good co-parenting comes down to good communication. With that in mind, here are some tips to remember:
- Make a parenting plan: You need to make this when working out child custody arrangements. The more details you include, the better, as by committing your ideas to the paper, you can spot flaws.
- Do not use your children as messengers: As parents, you need to find a way to communicate with each other. If speaking leads to arguments, consider messages, emails or parenting apps.
- Show consistency: Children need a certain amount of routine in their life. The breakup of your marriage reduces this, so try to ensure consistency in their new life.
- Be flexible: Life happens. There will be occasions when one of you cannot stick to your parenting plan. Perhaps you have to travel for work when it is your time to have the children. Maybe the other parent cannot make the usual changeover on time. By being flexible with each other, you solve issues together. If you are not, it is your children who will suffer.
- Embrace your differences: Every individual has different beliefs and ways of doing things. Do not see the other parent’s differences as a bad thing. Your child can benefit from two points of view within reason.
Do not rush into child custody decisions. Remember that children benefit from both parents playing an active role in their lives. Seek legal help to ensure you get the deal you need for yourself and your children.