Co-parents don’t have to be best friends, but it’s important to keep in mind that your children will take note if you are constantly at each other’s throats.
Working together with your ex after divorce is might something you are less than enthused about. In order to provide a safe space for your children, you can work together with your co-parent instead of against them.
Here are three ways you can develop a strong co-parent partnership:
- Decide if co-parenting is your best option
Co-parenting can involve a lot of schedule coordination, which requires regular contact with another. Co-parents can also attend the same child-related event without looming sense of animosity in the air. So, if you and your ex don’t get along well, then it’s probably best you choose to co-parent with some distance between each other. This is known as a parallel parenting arrangement. Through parallel parenting, you’ll be able care for your children without relaying information to your ex, you’ll follow a strict custody exchange schedule and attend child-related events separately.
- Choose how you’d like to communicate
Since you won’t be living under the same roof as your ex-spouse after you separate from one another, you’ll want to think of a communication method that works for both of you. Even if you don’t keep in touch about personal details, successful co-parents keep each other posted on their children. This might include sending child-related milestone updates, medical concerns, expense details and schedule notices to one another. If you don’t mind your ex texting you or calling you, you can always chat that way. Otherwise, email or an app designed for co-parents can help you keep organized in a more neutral, business-like fashion.
- Create a method for handling conflict
Co-parents who are truly rooting for one another can still come across conflict. Whether that be committing to parenting time that doesn’t work out due to a last-minute work trip or not agreeing with one another when it comes to picking a new school for their child. Planning out a way for how you hope to handle schedule change requests or other disagreements can go a long way. Because instead of resorting to arguing, you will create expectations for one another. Maybe you make a rule that you will accept five last-minute schedule changes each year if your ex makes them at least 48-hours ahead of time. Or you might have a mediator or support group of divorced parents to get opinions from whenever you hit roadblocks.
A divorce attorney can also help with the custody and divorce planning prior to your settlement and with issues that may arise further down the line.