Parenting as a Team after Divorce
There is a lot of new territory to navigate after a divorce. One of the most complex areas is how to parent your children from two separate households, and while leading separate lives. Here are some tips for co-parenting even when you and your spouse don’t get along.
- Do not communicate as exes but as parents. It might be helpful to think of your ex as your child’s other parent who you must work with rather than as an ex who wronged you. This may help you to put aside your personal differences for the sake of effective co-parenting.
- Do not use your child as a go-between. It is not your child’s responsibility to establish communication between you and your ex. Whether through e-mail, texting or phone conversations, you must communicate with your ex directly, not through your child. Using your child as a messenger puts him or her in the center of a conflict between two people he or she loves.
- Ask for help. There are resources available for people who are struggling with co-parenting after a divorce. Maryland offers co-parenting courses that can help you establish healthy and productive ways of communicating.
- Never criticize the other parent in front of your child. Criticizing the other parent or their parenting style can be extremely upsetting and confusing for your child. Always remember that the goal is to create a safe and comfortable life for your child, not to turn them against your ex or make your child pick a favorite.
- Make transitions as easy as possible. Travelling between two parents can be exhausting and stressful for children. Stock up on the basics at each house so that the child has to carry as few things as possible. Make sure the child knows in advance which days they are spending with which parent.
It may take some time but eventually your family will find a routine that works for you. Remember to stay flexible and keep your children’s best interests at heart. If you need assistance in establishing or modifying your custody plans, contact a lawyer who is experienced in family law.