Divorce is hard on everyone, but it is generally hardest on the children involved. Yes, you and your ex-spouse have been through a lot and may want to spend as little time as possible conferring with one another post-divorce, but anything you can do to make co-parenting easier and more amicable symbolizes your commitment to putting your children first. If you are facing divorce, an experienced Raleigh family lawyer can help.
It Takes Two
To effectively co-parent, it naturally takes two willing parents. You made it through your divorce intact, and now you have a parenting schedule that delineates when each of you has your shared children. This is a significant change that even the most intrepid parent can find daunting. If your ex is having difficulty fully committing to harmonious co-parenting, never fear, there are things that you can do to help ease the transition.
No one ever said that parenting is an easy gig, and co-parenting is even more challenging. Nevertheless, there are steps that you can take to help make effective co-parenting a reality, including:
- Build Flexibility into Your Schedule – Yes, you have a parenting schedule that the court has signed off on, but life has a way of intervening –schedules change, kids get unexpected invites, relatives visit from out of town, and more. If you demonstrate that you are willing to bend on the parenting schedule, your ex will be that much more likely to reciprocate, and your children will be allowed the rich, rewarding experiences that come with being part of a loving family (divorced or not). You can always make up for lost overnights later in the week or month.
- Communicate Directly with Your Ex – Don’t use your children as messengers. At best, it’s less efficient than communicating directly with your ex, and at worst, it can make your children feel as if they’re being put in the middle, or being forced to choose sides. If speaking face-to-face or on the phone with your ex is difficult, communicate via text, which can double as a helpful reminder regarding schedule changes.
- Encourage Your Children to Connect with Their Other Parent – When your children are with you, they may feel disinclined to reach out to their other parent (they may even feel disloyal). Encouraging your children to stay connected sends the distinct message that you want what’s best for them – always – including an ongoing and deepening relationship with their other parent.
- Pick Your Battles – If your ex’s parenting style differs from your own, let it go (as long as it doesn’t harm or endanger your children).
If You Have Co-Parenting Concerns, Consult with a Raleigh Family Lawyer Today
If you are going through a divorce or were recently divorced, issues related to child custody arrangements are naturally your primary concern. The dedicated family lawyers at Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law in Raleigh have the experience, commitment, and compassion to help you hammer out co-parenting arrangements that serve you and your children’s best interests. For more information, please contact us online or call us at (919) 838-7160 today.