It’s safe to say that, when you got married, you didn’t do so with the intention of one day divorcing your spouse. However, circumstances and people will change as time goes on. In some cases, divorce is the best option. A marital breakup is never an easy thing to go through, but when you have kids, the experience can be even more stressful and difficult.
Like it or not, how you handle your divorce will have a big impact on your children. Even though you and your spouse chose to go your separate ways, you likely both still want what is best for your kids. Obviously, children benefit the most when both parents are involved in their lives, so many West Virginia parents choose to co-parent after their separation. Here are a few ways to promote a good co-parenting relationship after your divorce.
Develop a parenting plan and stick to it
Developing a comprehensive and suitable parenting plan will take time and effort. You can use this time with the other parent to establish expectations and parenting standards and set boundaries. In your parenting plan, be sure to outline how exchanges will take place and the ways in which you will both communicate. Once you agree on a parenting plan, put it in place and follow it.
Understandably, seeing or talking to your former spouse may be difficult after a divorce. Luckily, you don’t have to be best friends with your ex to effectively co-parent. However, a mutual respect between parents is essential for the health of any family. Your past relationship with your ex is over; think of your relationship now as a business partnership. This is about the children now, so put their needs first.
Consistent, easy transitions
One of the most difficult parts of a co-parenting agreement for children is the transition between homes. Preparing the children and giving them a heads-up a day ahead of time will help ease some of their fear and anxiety. Another way to make this transition easier is to drop off the kids rather than pick them up. Make arrangements with the other parent to drop the children off at their house. Then, have your ex drop the children back off at your home at the end of the visit.
Communication and cooperation are the keys to effectively co-parenting with your ex. Remember, this is about the kids now, so leave the past in the past. Being spiteful and trying to get back at your ex for the ways they wronged you in the past will only end up hurting the children. Along with child custody issues, there are a number of things that can cause concern in the aftermath of a divorce. Fortunately, there are professional resources readily available to you for help, support and answers to your tough questions.