When you and your spouse decide to get divorced, you need to make developing a co-parenting relationship a priority. It’s in the best interests of your children to have parents who get along and openly support and respect each other. Your kids have a better chance of thriving during and after the divorce if you and your ex take positive actions each day to ensure that the co-parenting relationship remains strong.
Establish Strict Ground Rules with Your Ex
Talk to your ex about how you want to proceed as parents. Your marital relationship will need to transform into one that’s primarily focused on co-parenting during the divorce process and its aftermath. Your relationship with your ex can be a positive, healthy relationship if you both commit to making it one.
While you don’t want to make any formal agreements with your ex without first consulting your attorney, it’s okay to establish ground rules for how you would like to communicate with and treat each other. Some of the ground rules that you may want to consider establishing include:
- Never insulting the other to your kids or talking behind each other’s back.
- Posting on social media. Discuss the possible implications that posting about the divorce may have on the kids and your co-parenting relationship. Many people choose to leave divorce information off of their social media profiles.
- Preserving the relationship that your children have with both sets of grandparents. Discuss how you can best ensure that the children get plenty of time with all grandparents and other family members.
- Avoiding involving your children in any of the drama of the divorce. Discuss strategies for protecting your children in every aspect of the divorce.
While the ground rules you set are entirely up to you and your ex, it’s important to consider that the main idea is to establish a healthy relationship that can flourish for years to come as you raise your kids together.
Consider a Primary Method of Communication
You and your ex probably aren’t going to be best friends as you move forward in your life. If you are not going to be communicating as openly with your ex as you do your friends, it’s best to agree on a primary method of communication so that you won’t stress over whether you missed a message via Facebook or whether a voicemail got erased.
It’s less stressful for many couples to set the boundary of having a primary method of communication. If email is easier, you may choose to send each other daily schedules or updates on the kids via email. If the phone is preferable, you may choose that as your primary method of contact. Any method that works best for both of you will be fine.
Respect Your Ex’s Parenting Role and Discuss Future Relationships
Talk about how you will eventually handle dating again. You may want to determine whether overnight guests will ever be allowed when the children are in each other’s home, how long it’s appropriate before the kids meet a future romantic interest and other things that will be difficult.
While dating isn’t something you may face for some time to come, agreeing to handle it respectfully now can be a positive thing. You will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your kids won’t be exposed to behavior that you think is appropriate, and it’s not the elephant in the room when you imagine the future as you both move on from the divorce.
Finally, keep in mind that a tool that will be a consistent asset to your co-parenting relationship is open and clear communication. Follow all these steps to better co-parent through a divorce. Also, safeguard your own best interests throughout the entire divorce process. Contact the Lowry Law Firm for help with child custody concerns and all the legal matters you may face in your divorce.