There’s no doubt that divorce can be highly contentious. While your disagreements with your spouse may focus in large part on your marital assets and how to divide them fairly, things can become even more conflictual when children are involved. This is especially true when you and your children’s other parent can’t even communicate effectively.
Tips for building your co-parenting relationship
Fortunately, there are strategies that you can utilize to try to improve your co-parenting relationship with your children’s other parent both during and after divorce. Let’s look at some of those tips here:
- Recognize the value of having two involved parents: Regardless of how you feel about your children’s other parent, he or she has a lot of value to your children. Children who have active and involved parents tend to do better academically, socially, and emotionally. So, acknowledge that your children need the other parent and focus on how you can involve him or her in the children’s life. Of course, there are exceptions if the other parent poses a threat to your children’s safety and well-being.
- Remember that children learn how to behave from your actions: Children are always watching and learning. How they communicate, how they treat others, and how they cope with their own emotions are learned, in large part, from you. So, try to model a positive relationship with the other parent so that your children receive a proper message.
- Strive to provide consistency: Children thrive on routine and consistency. Therefore, you’ll be doing yourself and your children a favor by trying to keep household rules somewhat consistent between parental households. Also, try to keep discipline consistent so that your children don’t grow to disfavor one parent over the other.
- Don’t bash the other parent in front of your children: A lot of parents unfairly and perhaps unknowingly unload their emotional baggage on their children. This often includes talking negatively about the other parent. But doing so can be harmful to your children and alienate them from the other parent. It can also backfire and breed resentment in your children.
- Truly listen and try to compromise: Chances are that your children’s other parent shares your goal of doing what’s best for your kids. The two of you may have different ideas about what that looks like, but those are different viewpoints that you can respect and try to negotiate around. By being respectful, you can build a stronger co-parenting relationship that is much more likely to be successful in the long term.
- Use technology for scheduling: A lot of co-parenting arguments arise over missed visitation and misinformation. You can avoid a lot of these disputes by simply using a shared calendar that lets each parent see what the children are doing, when major events are occurring, and when visitation is supposed to take place. So, consider the technology you have at your disposal to determine if there’s something out there that works for your family.
Protect your children and your parental rights
Although there’s a lot that you can do to build your co-parenting relationship with your children’s other parent, things don’t always work out as we’d hoped. So, if you continue to struggle with co-parenting even after taking the steps mentioned above, then you may want to consider discussing your situation with an attorney of your choosing.
By doing so, you can better ensure that your children are protected as fully as possible and that your right to custody or visitation is upheld. To learn more about how best to navigate your case, consider reaching out to an experienced attorney to discuss your circumstances further.