Co-parenting after a divorce or separation is never easy. Every relationship is different, and some ex-spouses have more conflict than others.
While each marriage and divorce are unique, the common goal should be to ensure that children have a safe, stable and close relationship with both parents.
Remember! It’s not about you
Putting aside negative feelings for a former spouse can be extremely challenging. However, unless abuse or neglect is present, Texas parents need to remember that children of divorce can still thrive when both mom and dad play a positive role in their daily lives. Here are some crucial things to remember:
- Your children are always first
- The time spent with your kids is theirs, not yours
- Cooperate with extracurricular activities and school
- Don’t keep score on which clothing, electronics, games or toys go back and forth between homes – they belong to your child
- Don’t badmouth your ex – your child is one-half of the other parent
- Be flexible – children need to see flexibility as they are developing, so they can be flexible and adaptable humans when they grow up
The benefits for your children can last a lifetime
While the marriage may be over, your family isn’t, and your children’s best interests become the focal point. Parents should strive to push aside the hurt and anger, improve communication, co-parent as a team and make transitions and visitation easier. The rewards for kids are:
- Feeling safe and secure
- A sense of discipline and fairness
- Problem-solving abilities
- Healthier and stronger relationships
- Increased emotional and mental health
Plan accordingly and communicate
Regardless of how well parents get along, a significant step is working with an experienced family law attorney to draft a parenting plan that addresses visitation schedules and resolving medical, educational, religious and other vital issues.
Parents can greatly benefit from using a communication platform – apps such as OurFamilyWizard or TalkingParents, which not only foster dialogue and document the relationship but include a shared calendar, so everyone is on the same page.