Unlike the marriage relationship, the parenting relationship continues long after a divorce is finalized. Many parenting options are available, but one of the more popular current options is referred to as co-parenting.
This form of parenting is touted as an option that allows the parents to use their own parenting style in conjunction with their ex. Although the parents may use different styles, they work together to help better ensure their children are getting all their needs met.
This form of parenting can be difficult, but steps can be taken to help increase the odds of a success. Some tips include:
- Communicate. The process will not succeed if you do not communicate. Find a method that works well for you. If the divorce was contentious and you are not comfortable having discussions with your ex in person, set up a way to communicate through email or other means. One handy tool is an online calendar. It allows parents to keep up to date on children’s test dates, sporting events, dance recitals and other important engagements.
- Respect boundaries. It is important to follow the child custody agreement and visitation rules that were agreed upon. In addition, it is also important for all involved to respect some basic boundaries. Arguably, one of the most important is to avoid speaking ill of the other parent in front of the children. If possible, aim to discuss concerns in private and find a source other than your children to vent about your ex when needed.
- Be cordial. Manners go a long way. You do not have to get along with your ex, but you should be polite. For some, it can help to step away from the intimate nature of the relationship and view it as more of a business partnership.
Co-parenting is just one of many styles available for parents that are raising children after a divorce. The style that is best for you will depend on a number of factors, including the child custody arrangement that was agreed upon during the divorce.
The long reaching arm of the divorce settlement agreement and the importance of legal representation
As noted above, the style that works best often hinges on the child custody agreement. This is put together during the divorce proceeding. Although it can be modified, the modification process can take time.
As a result, it is best for those going through or considering a divorce to craft their final settlements wisely. An experienced family law attorney can assist, better ensuring the final settlement meets your needs.