Co-Parenting in a Divorce
Parenting is always tough, even under the best of conditions. But co-parenting in a divorce can be far more challenging than what most people would like to think. Bitter memories from the past can hinder the co-parents’ ability to focus exclusively on their child’s welfare.
You need to have a compassionate and insightful child custody attorney on your side who will invest maximum effort in achieving an effective custody or visitation arrangement that works best for you and your child. A good custody and parenting plan is half the battle won already, and it will pave the way for a positive co-parenting relationship for everyone’s sake.
Co-parenting is Collaborative, not Adversarial
If you and the other co-parent are able to set aside your personal differences of the past, it becomes much easier to make collaborative decisions for your children and provide them a healthy and secure environment. The best way forward could be to look at your relationship with your former spouse as a completely new one, which is centered around your child’s welfare and has nothing to do with the two of you.
A divorce ends your marriage, but not your family. For your family’s sake, you should try to make co-parenting work. This does not require you and the other parent to spend much time together or even to have any liking for each other. You both just need to agree about your child’s best interests and work towards them. This involves some compromise, some tolerance and a conscious decision to respect each other, especially in front of the child.
Flexibility and accommodation are the hallmark of a collaborative co-parenting relationship. Your legal parenting plans are not cast in stone. There could be days when the co-parent is stuck at office in some work, or the child is feeling unwell, and the visitation cannot take place as planned. Allowing some leeway to each other in these types of small issues will build a positive co-parenting relationship.
Good Co-parenting Helps Your Child
When you and the other parent are willing to invest in good co-parenting, your child will recognize that you both are willing to prioritize them over your own differences. They will become more secure when they see that your love for them precedes your personal hurt of the past. Children who get the benefit of healthy co-parenting in a divorce will:
- Adjust faster to the changed situation after a divorce, and grow up with a stronger self-esteem.
- Be more disciplined because they will have co-parents who make consistent decisions for them and impose similar rules and guidelines.
- Develop a problem solving approach to everything rather than complaining about things – because they would have seen your example.
- Become strong human beings, both emotionally and mentally because they will receive the love and care from both parents in equal measure.
Communication is Vital to Co-parenting
The success of purposeful co-parenting is founded on open and consistent communication between you and your co-parent. While it may be difficult in the beginning, but if you make your child’s priorities and concerns the focal point of every conversation with your former spouse, the communication channel will get established in no time.
You do not need to physically meet up with the other parent each time. For the most part, discussions can take place over phone, email and text messages. You both will quickly know which type of communication mode is working best for you and produces effective and conflict-free exchanges.
For all major issues related to your child, you and the other co-parent will have to make joint decisions. Therefore, direct and clear communication is essential. For example, you both may choose to designate one parent to talk to the child’s doctor or visit for healthcare appointments. But each time, update the other parent about what transpired on that visit.
Similarly, take care to inform the co-parent well in advance about any upcoming school events, examinations, or parent-teacher meetings. Whenever you both need to be present together at the child’s sports or extra-curricular event, make it a point to be cordial with each other.
Be frank about the financial issues related to your child’s upbringing. Acknowledge graciously if the co-parent is in a position to provide valuable opportunities for your child, which you may not be able to afford. On certain issues, there are bound to be disagreements, but that does not mean that you stop communicating.
If you keep the communication channels open, some resolution will usually emerge. When you both are unable to agree at all in a particular important area, consider talking to your therapist or your child custody lawyer. An experienced lawyer will help you arrive at a reasonable compromise that lets you both “win” and avoids the need to move court.
Speak to a Trusted Child Custody Attorney in Orange County
When you talk to a focused and compassionate child custody lawyer in Orange County, they will work towards reminding both sides that your child’s best interest is ultimately at the center of any custody dispute. Co-parenting does not have to become a daily battle for you and the other side, while the child suffers.
Work with a child custody and visitation lawyer who understands the trials and tribulations of co-parenting and is able to help you and your child reap its best rewards through skillful negotiation with your co-parent.