When you get a divorce and you have children, one of the most important things you need to think about is your co-parenting relationship with your former spouse. While this is a difficult time for both of you, it is imperative you are both able to co-parent in a healthy way to ensure your children are happy and healthy. The following are some things to keep in mind:
Determine How You Will Communicate
When you divorce your spouse, one issue you can have is communication. If you have children, however, you have to realize you will need to communicate until your children reach the legal age in your state. Until that time comes, you have to figure out how you can communicate with each other so you can raise your children with consistency.
If you are not able to speak to one another in person, come up with some alternative methods that show your children you can both communicate in as rational a manner as possible. Speaking on the phone is ideal, because it shows you can still talk to each other in a healthy way. If this is not possible, text or email are good options. You can even set up an online calendar in which you both have access to your children's schedules so you can both be on the same page.
Make Both Environments Consistent
Another issue many divorced parents face is consistency in each household. If you do not have consistency between each other, it can turn into a fiasco with your children, which is ultimately unhealthy for them. For example, if one parent allows the children to stay up until ten at night while the other enacts a strict 8 o'clock bedtime, the children will use this to pit one parent against the other. This ultimately causes unhealthy dissension among both households.
Instead, come together and discuss each of your opinions on various issues that will come up with your children. Have the same rules in place in both homes so the children will have the same routine no matter where they are. Understand that instances may arise when the schedules need to be altered. However, you should both compromise and come up with an agreement on all issues regarding your children so their environments remain the same wherever they go.
Be Your Former Spouse's Partner
This may sound odd, particularly since you just ended your marriage, but you have to be ready to back up your former spouse if needed. This means you do not try to go overboard with spoiling your kids or try to out-do the other parent. Instead, you both need to agree on some of the more important issues regarding your children. For instance, if you want to take your children on an expensive vacation, ask the other parent if he or she would have any issue with you doing so. Even if your custody plan states you can take your children on a trip at your own choosing, it is best to get the approval of the other parent to show respect for his or her time.
For more help navigating divorce, visit family law attorney sites such as schreyerlawfirm.com.