If you and your spouse are planning to divorce and have children, you can expect a new dynamic to develop between you, your ex and your kids. You will now have to deal with various custody issues such as who is picking up the kids after school, trading holidays and scheduling recreational activities and vacations. When you are in a co-parenting situation, it is important to keep your kids as the focus and put aside differences with your ex.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make co-parenting a successful venture. Here are some tips to help with the challenges of co-parenting.
If you and your ex have a contentious relationship, the best thing you can do to make co-parenting easier is to treat them the same as you would a work colleague. Look at co-parenting like a business arrangement. Handle each situation the same as you would a work situation.
Work out a plan
A parenting plan sets out the rules and routines that each of you should follow as you raise the children. It can cover everything from bedtimes to household chores and punishments. Take the time to work this out with your ex and, if necessary, a mediator or other non-biased third party. By laying out consistent house rules, your child will know what to expect from each of you. Be sure to revisit the plan periodically to ensure it still fits the circumstances.
Communication is important
If there is a communication breakdown between you and your ex when it comes to the kids, then the effectiveness of your co-parenting could also take a hit. Consider attending a seminar or getting other outside help so that you can begin to communicate in a positive and effective manner. The success of your co-parenting plan depends on your ability to communicate with each other.
If you are considering divorce and have children, it is important that you put them first. Through successful shared parenting, you can lessen the impact of the divorce on your kids.