Raising children can be difficult enough when you are married. Co-parenting after divorce can be much more challenging. You might have to deal with your former spouse's new significant other. You could still have hurt feelings and anger. Financial struggles are common after divorce. Either you or your former spouse might have to make lifestyle adjustments to make ends meet.
With all of these stress factors, it is easy for the children to get caught in the middle. A Michigan child custody attorney could advise you and advocate for you as you get used to your new normal. Here are 5 tips for effective co-parenting after divorce:
1. Have a Common Goal
You and your former spouse can sit down and have a conversation about co-parenting. Verbalizing that you both have a commitment to fostering a happy, healthy relationship for your child with the other parent can help. Confirm that you will each put the best interest of your child first. While you do not want to over-compensate for the situation, you do want your child to be happy and well-adjusted.
2. No Bad-Mouthing
It can be tempting to say unpleasant things about your former spouse after a divorce. What you say when out with your friends is up to you, but you should censor yourself when your child could overhear or find out about negative things that you say about that child's other parent.
Your comments will not change your former spouse, so there is little point in saying these things out loud. If your child hears your statements, it will hurt your child. Some people excuse bad-mouthing their former spouse by stating that the comments were factually accurate. In this situation, the truthfulness of the statements will likely hurt your child even more than if you were making false accusations.
3. Agree to Disagree
You and your spouse did not agree on 100% of the issues about your child while you were married. There is no reason to expect that you will agree on everything after the divorce. Have a strategy in place before the disagreements arise. Sometimes, you simply need to agree to disagree on some things.
4. You Are Your Child's Role Model
Picture yourself when you are out of control and ranting about your former spouse's behavior. Ask yourself if that is the way you would like your child to behave as an adult. We would all like our children to have happy, healthy relationships when they entered the dating and marriage circles. Be the kind of person you want your child to be as an adult. Show them how to get along with a significant other, even after a divorce.
5. The Bottom Line is Respect
If you and your former spouse consistently treat each other with respect, you will have fewer problems co-parenting. You no longer have a romantic relationship, but you still have a child to raise together. If you can both agree to view co-parenting as a joint venture and treat each other like business partners, you can prevent many of the toxic circumstances that can arise after a divorce.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation. A Michigan child custody attorney can help you deal with conflict and other post-divorce parenting situations.