After a divorce has been finalized and a custody order is in place, parents will have to learn the art of “co-parenting.” It could take months or even years, depending on how well you, your spouse, and your children adjust. Co-parenting can be complicated, but is important to create stability for your children and to develop a long-term solution post-divorce. Both parents will have to learn to put differences aside and face the many challenges of parenthood, even while living in different households.
Though co-parenting is never easy, both parents should make an effort to make positive choices and decisions in the best interest of the children. Our Birmingham child custody attorney is dedicated to protecting the rights of clients and to developing lasting family solutions post-divorce. We understand the complicated nature of joint custody and will work to help parents effectively navigate the family law court system. In addition to protecting the rights of our clients, we are mindful of the struggles families will face at home long after a divorce order is finalized. Here are some helpful tips for co-parenting to ease the transition for your while family.
1) Keep in mind your children's best interest. The best interest of your children is a standard adopted by the court, but should be adopted by both parents as well. Remember that joint custody arrangements may be more challenging, but they are the best option for children who benefit from time with both parents. Try to get past any painful history with your ex, let go of resentments, and focus on creating a healthy and stable life for your children.
2) Establish a new relationship with your ex. Moving on may involve reinventing your relationship with our ex. Thinking of your ex as an extended family member, a business partner, or a friend can help to reestablish a relationship that has a new focus an priority. Even though your marriage is over, you can put your differences aside and keep your kids the focus of your newly established relationship.
3) Make security, consistency, and solutions a priority. Whether making a decision with your ex, creating a schedule, or establishing a routine, you should have priorities in mind. Children should feel secure and that their relationships with both parents are predictable and reliable. They will benefit from the consistency, patterns, and routine that you create. If you focus on problem-solving and solutions, you can turn the attention away from any differences you may have with your ex.
4) Find other outlets for your emotions. If you are still struggling with the pain of a divorce, seek professional help, friend circles, or support groups. Never vent to your children about the pain you are experiencing with the divorce. Deal with stress in healthy ways such as exercise, taking yoga, or learning meditation. Healthy stress relief can help prevent you from taking it out on your former spouse or children. Never use your children as messengers or put them in the middle.
5) Focus on communication. Whether recently divorced or working on co-parenting after years, you will always have to focus on peaceful, respectful, and purposeful communication with your ex. This is the key to co-parenting and will help you get through the transition, whether your children are toddlers, teenagers, or adults.
Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.