The road to effective co-parenting is not easy and you should not expect a healthy relationship to be established overnight. After spending months or more battling over custody, support payments, and marital assets, you should not expect to become friendly with your former spouse immediately after the divorce is settled. Building a healthy post-divorce or post-breakup relationship with your ex will take time, but there are things that you can do to make the process less painful. Utilizing these tips for working towards an amicable co-parenting relationship can take some of the guesswork out of building a relationship that ultimately benefits your children and each other.
Establish a Simple Routine
Focusing on establishing a simple routine is a good way to break the ice for parents who are new to co-parenting while helping children grow used to the arrangement. Working towards creating a pick up, drop off, and nightly schedule allows parents to get used to communicating again while keeping the discussion on the safe ground of parenting. Waiting to add extra activities, appointments, and other things into the routine until a simple pattern is established helps you avoid conflicts or tension with your ex until the initial tension has dissipated. After everyone gets used to the new normal, it will become easier for you and your former partner to have conversations without feeling uncomfortable.
Do Not Use a Child as a Messenger
One mistake newly separated parents make is using their child as a messenger. Having your child tell the other parent things on your behalf places that child in the middle of your relationship. Even if you feel the message is innocuous, there is no way for you to know how that message may be received. Instead of placing your child in a potentially uncomfortable situation, talk to your ex directly. If you do not feel comfortable discussing something with your ex, then it is better to leave the words unsaid rather than involve your child.
Do Not Discuss Your Love Lives
Moving forward with your lives is one of the reason co-parents eventually establish amicable relationships. It takes time to untangle from a relationship emotionally, especially when children are involved. Discussing the love life of your ex may unintentionally open a floodgate of emotions that can set any progress you have made as a co-parenting team back. Avoid asking questions about dating, relationships, or anything else that does not concern your children or ability to co-parent. Indulging your curiosity is not worth risking your newly found parenting equilibrium.
Getting Help When Necessary
If you have worked hard to create a healthy co-parenting relationship with a former partner and feel like nothing is working, then outside help may be necessary. Talking to a child custody attorney about problems that you are having establishing a routine is important, especially if the other parent is not adhering to guidelines of your shared parenting agreement. Modification or clarification are both options to consider, and the attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum can help you with either task. Our team is prepared to help you find the best ways to help you and your children move forward with custody and visitation arrangements that are in the best interests of your child. Contact our office today at 678-736-7700 to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta area locations.