Sharing parenting duties during and after a divorce can prove challenging for many.
Divorce is rarely a smooth process. You have to come to terms with the fact that your marriage has ended, navigate the legal hurdles, and try to reach an agreement with your soon to be ex-spouse. Sharing parenting duties under these circumstances can be quite difficult, especially if we’re talking about a high-conflict divorce with emotions running high on both sides.
Regardless of the pain, your spouse has caused you, try to remember one crucial thing; divorce is a traumatic experience for your kids. Try to set your hard feelings aside and think about what is best for your children.
Here are a few things you can do to successfully co-parent your child during and after a divorce.
Always Think about the Kids
As mentioned before, whatever hard feelings you may have, put them aside and try to make the process as easy for your kids as possible. Don’t push your spouse’s button and make them react negatively. Be civil and try to be respectful of each other.
Work with a Parent Facilitator
The role of a parent facilitator is to help you reach an agreement regarding co-parenting without too much drama. You may consider reaching out to one whenever you feel like you can’t reach a consensus with your ex-spouse. They will help you find a solution that has the kids’ best interest at heart and satisfies both of you.
Don’t expect your spouse’s behavior to change after the divorce. If they were always breaking their promise, it is likely this habit won’t change. So, don’t work yourself up if that happens and always have a plan B in place.
Learn How to Communicate Effectively
Maybe poor communication skills were one of the reasons that lead to your divorce in the first place. However, try to make an effort and tell your ex-spouse about any changes in advance. Text them or use instant messaging apps if talking with them on the phone feels uncomfortable.
It’s important to establish a proper visiting schedule with your ex-spouse, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you decide to follow it to the T every time. Allow some flexibility, especially if your kids seem to be ok with the changes. For example, be reasonable when your ex-spouse asks for an extra vacation day or to switch Thanksgiving with Christmas.
Maintain Some Traditions
Although difficult, your purpose should be to maintain a sense of normality for the kids. Divorce can be pretty difficult for them, so keeping certain traditions in place may help them feel secure. If you always had dinner together on Christmas Eve, continue doing so for their sake.
Your spouse may feel like the enemy right now, but it’s not fair for your kids to be caught in your war. Focus on what’s best for them and help them get through this experience with ease.