The idea of putting aside divorce disputes in order to co-parent after receiving your decree often seems impossible. After months or years of unhappiness culminating in a costly divorce, it is not unusual for an adult to want closure and space. Unfortunately, couples who have minor children together must continue to interact until their children reach the age of majority or graduate from high school. While it is natural to feel some level of resentment or frustration after a divorce, there are things to avoid when co-parenting after a divorce.
Putting Children in the Middle
Involving children in disputes and arguments with an ex-spouse is something that newly divorced couples often do without even realizing it. Things as seemingly innocent as having children transport a message for their other parent in an overnight bag can place them in an uncomfortable position. Children want to know that both of their parents love and appreciate them without being made to feel as if they have to choose a side. Little things such as calling your former spouse to discuss matters, sitting with them at school functions, and being around them when necessary helps to keep your children from feeling as though they may have to pick a side.
Letting Emotion Influence Communication
It may take a long time for you to move on emotionally from the pain and stress of your divorce. However, it is vital that you do not let your pain or stress influence how you communicate with your former spouse or children. Communicating in an emotional way because you are still working on coping with past events make it difficult for you to focus on co-parenting in the present. It also increases your chances of having disputes with your former spouse that would otherwise be avoidable. Finding coping mechanisms that help foster calm and effective co-parenting is important for the wellbeing of your child.
Focusing on Your Former Spouse Instead of Your Child
Visitation and parenting time is in the best of interest of your child. Unfortunately, after a divorce it is common for parents to think of co-parenting as a benefit for their former spouse instead of something important to their child. When the time comes to prepare your child for time with the other parent, it is important to focus on your child, his or her happiness, and how he or she benefits from having a healthy relationship with both parents. Focusing on your child’s health and development instead of the actions or feelings of a former spouse will help you keep the real reason for co-parenting at the forefront of your mind.
Contact Us for Legal Advice
There are times when in spite of all of your efforts, co-parenting does not work out in anyone’s interest. When this happens, it might be necessary to modify your custody and visitation agreement. The child custody and visitation attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are available to discuss your situation so that we can provide you with the legal advice you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta metro area locations.