Going through divorce will put many parents into confusing situations when regarding their kids. If you found your way to this article, you may be experiencing trouble wrapping your head around how to make the best decisions for your children during this time. Oftentimes it can take a while to regain trust with an ex spouse and decide to communicate and work with them. Although difficult at first, many families find that co-parenting is a great option. It allows both parents to set their own household boundaries while still providing for their children and maintaining positive relationships. In this article we go over ways that you can make co-parenting work for your family and mention what to look out for if you think that it might not be right for you.
When it comes to your children, having both parents who play active roles in their lives is the best way to ensure their wellbeing. Telling children about divorce is a difficult step that will leave them with many questions. It is important to explain co-parenting in a positive manner to help children understand why it will be a good option. As with anything, the attitude that you have surrounding the situation will change the reactions you get. The same idea applies when communicating with your ex spouse. Co-parenting is all about making a team effort to provide what is best for your children. Through practicing better divorce parenting skills you will greatly strengthen all your family relationships. Here are some of the do’s for making co-parenting work for you:
- Establish your boundaries and stick to them
- Create schedules in writing to avoid confusion
- Keep your ex informed about the changes that occur in your life. This way you have time to plan ways to make big adjustments easier on your children.
- Understand and work through the challenges of co-parenting together. It isn’t always going to be easy, but good communication is key.
When Conflicts Arise
As lives change, people are constantly evolving, developing different ideals and forming new opinions. Many relationships run into conflicts when one individual goes through changes and another is left unable to relate. This happening may have been part of your personal experience with divorce. During co-parenting, conflicts often arise because of the same reasons. When you can’t agree, here is how you can work on coming together to care for your children:
- Focus on clearing your mind first. When you take care of your mental health during divorce and give clarity and rest to your mind, you allow yourself to perceive things more clearly and positively. Prioritizing your mental wellbeing will help you make strong decisions that you truly stand by, helping you provide better for your children.
- Be flexible. When you make efforts to communicate properly with your ex and understand their point of view, you strengthen the co-parenting relationship. This builds respect and trust.
- Focus on the kids. At the end of the day, providing for your child’s needs is the most important factor here. Work on reiterating the importance of coming to a compromise for their sake. Talk about how you can be consistent with your boundaries and work together as a team.
Assessing Your Situation
There are instances in which co-parenting will never be a viable and safe option for your children. It simply does not work for everyone. To make co-parenting work well there need to be basic agreements in place between you and your ex, a level of mutual respect and willingness to compromise. It is important to take time to asses your specific situation and determine what your best options are.
When certain concerns are raised during a child custody hearing, the judge will investigate to determine the best outcome for your situation. If you are unsure if co-parenting is right for you, some instances will be crucial to bring up. Here are some reasons why co-parenting does not work:
If a parent…
- Suffers from substance abuse issues
- Exhibits violent, abusive behaviour
- Has a strong resentment and anger towards the other parent
- Is unable to compromise or work with the other parent
Although co-parenting does not work for every situation, it might be ideal for you. Giving your children the ability to form relationships with both parents is a highly valuable part of their growth, health and happiness. Don’t get discouraged by how difficult it may seem to get used to at first. With time, co- parenting can become a great way to form new found relationships with your children and begin a new era of memories.
At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.