Some parents understand that they should put compassion for their children above any feelings of hostility for one another. Not all parents do, though, which can lead to additional challenges. Even if you strongly dislike the other parent, it is still possible to co-parent happy and healthy children. The following will review some strategies you should try to follow if you find yourself in such a situation.
Focus on Your Kids
Co-parenting is not about your relationship with the other parent. Instead, co-parenting is only about your children. To successfully co-parent, you will have to realize that your personal feelings or negative emotions about your former spouse have no place in your relationship with your children.
It is understandable that the negative feelings you might have about your former spouse do not disappear as soon as a divorce settlement in reached. Until you are able to look past these emotions about your former spouse, you will likely have to establish boundaries, while remaining respectful.
It is easy to lose track of kids’ schedules, particularly when the parents have different residences. To make sure that children stay on time and you stay ahead of the schedule, however, it is important to remain organized. There are several online and app-based programs that parents can use to communicate with one another. These schedules keep parents up to date with where children are and what they are doing. If you encounter any verbal arguments with your former spouse or partner, it is important to keep track of these details, as well.
Redefine Your Expectations
This does not mean that you should lower your expectations for the type of care that your children receive. Instead, to reduce the negative emotions that you have about your spouse, it is a good idea to be realistic about your expectations. Do not expect more from your spouse than when you were married.
Consider Using a Third Party
If you and your former spouse are unable to exchange the children without fighting, it is time to consider using a third party for these transfers. An agreeable mutual friend, family member, or other types of third parties can help you avoid contentious situations. Some people even select a neutral site to further reduce the negative emotions experienced during this time.
Watch What You Say Around Kids
You should always avoid saying anything bad about your former spouse in front of your children. You should similarly avoid allowing your children to speak negatively about the other parent while they are in your presence. Even though this might be difficult if you are still harboring negative emotions about your relationship, taking the more difficult path avoids having children who end up experiencing parental alienation.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
There are a number of challenges that can arise while co-parenting. If you need the assistance of a lawyer during this time, contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.