A divorce can be a challenging situation, particularly if there are children involved. But even after the child custody and child support arrangements are figured out, divorced parents need to face the issue of co-parenting. Co-parenting is a term used to describe the relationship between two separated or divorced parents attempting to parent their shared children. While co-parenting with an ex-spouse can be a frustrating situation, it does not have to be. Co-parenting amicably with your ex can give your children stability and close relationships with both parents, but it takes work.
Whether it’s managing summer schedules, after school activities, or even nutrition, any situation in which one parent would do things differently from the other can lead to a potentially combative situation. The cause of this if often unresolved issues stemming from the marriage, built-up resentment, a communication breakdown, or just plain differences in parenting styles and values.
Read on to learn a few tips to follow in order to successfully co-parent during and after a Los Angeles divorce.
Regular Communication is Key in Co-Parenting
Even if you do not like your ex-spouse, chances are, if you have children together, you will need to communicate with them once and a while. When you do so, make sure it is amicable and to the point. Choose your battles carefully, some things are better to let go of in the long run. If talking over the phone or in person does not work for you two, try emailing or texting. These written forms of communication also provide a record in case an issue should arise over what was said or not said.
Seek Professional Assistance
For some co-parents, family counseling can be an incredibly useful solution. Many family therapists will provide co-parenting sessions that allow you and your ex to communicate and express feelings of anger, sadness, etc… in a ‘safe’ place. Additionally, consider joining a co-parenting class where you can find other parents who are going through the same situation as you and can provide another listening ear or perspective.
Avoid Litigation Over Parenting Disputes
If possible, avoid going to court for every co-parenting issue. Work with your divorce lawyer to find creative, effective alternatives, such as mediation.
Focus on your Children
At the end of the day, the key to successful co-parenting is to place the focus on your children. While this is often easier said than done, it is vital for your well-being, as well as that of your children’s, to place your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being first. You may have intense feelings and emotions about the divorce and/or your ex, but do not share them to your child. Friends, therapists, and even a loving pet are there to listen to you vent.
For more information on successfully setting up a child custody arrangement, or to discuss filing for divorce from your spouse, contact the expert Los Angeles family lawyers at Walzer & Melcher today.
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