When there are children involved in a marriage that has ended in divorce, the divorced parties find themselves entering into a brand new relationship with their ex-spouse – co-parenting. Many couples find it difficult, if not impossible to have a “friendly” divorce, there can be a lot of pain, disappointment, resentment, and anger generated during the dissolution of a marriage.
Unfortunately, many parents prolong this adversity by using the children as weapons against the other parent. They may ask the children to spy on the other parent, make visitation difficult, or trash the other parent in front of the kids. This behavior amplifies the distress of the children, who are already coping with the painful consequences of the breakup.
Children who are dealing with the effects of divorce suffer fewer consequences when given the support needed to handle this new life situation. A cooperative relationship between divorced parents can help the children’s overall adjustment to the new lifestyle. If you still get into an argument with your former spouse every time you see each other, remind yourself and your ex of the reason it is important to develop a co-parenting relationship – for the wellbeing of your children. There are steps divorced parents can take to develop a positive co-parenting partnership:
- Keep your promises – If you have made a promise to your children or your ex, do everything in your power to keep that promise. Don’t make promises that you cannot or will not keep. Reestablishing trust between you and your ex lets your children know that they are safe to trust their parents.
- Be adult – You and your ex are now in a business partnership, the business of collaborating for the common purpose of raising happy, well-adjusted children. Speak respectfully to each other, and don’t let your emotions affect your behavior.
- Show consideration – Keep your ex informed about sports activities, school functions, and other events important to your children. Listen to the other parent’s opinion, and share your insights. Open communication and respect for the other parent’s rights is crucial to successful co-parenting.
Frequently, the contention between divorced parents is born of fear or frustration over issues such as support and visitation. Rely on the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney to establish a solid legal foundation for your parental rights. When you know where you stand legally, you don’t have to feel threatened by the power of the other parent and can focus on the wellbeing of your children. For expert guidance in this field, call (847) 520-8100 today.