Divorce and paternity proceedings bring out the worst in people. If you share children with your former partner, you must pick up the pieces of what remains in the aftermath and learn to co-parent as a team. Unfortunately, this is far easier said than done in many cases. To reduce conflict and better raise your children, you and your former partner will have to work together to rebuild a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Now that you and your former partner are no longer together, the focus of your relationship should be on your children rather than on any of your problems and past issues. It can be difficult to move beyond these unresolved grievances, but it will not do your children any favors to linger on them. Instead of allowing them to resurface, find another outlet for them. Doing so will allow you to focus on your children’s needs and your duties as a co-parent, creating fewer obstacles and less tension with your former partner.
It is also crucial for you to leave your children out of any conflicts that arise with your former partner. Relaying messages through them might seem easier for you, but involving them in the situation will harm them and further distress them in an already problematic situation.
Here are some additional tips for building a healthy co-parenting relationship:
- Maintain a business-like relationship: Some former partners may eventually become friends, but you should not feel pressured to aspire to this. You and your former partner can still have a healthy co-parenting relationship even if you cannot become friends. Consider the fact that you probably have a few co-workers with whom you are not friends but can still maintain a functional and professional relationship. Strive to do the same with your co-parent and you will learn how to create healthy boundaries.
- Be respectful: Even when you disagree with each other, you need to remain respectful. Leave all the name-calling and low blow insults out of your co-parenting relationship. It might feel good in the moment, but it will ultimately make the situation worse.
- Support each other as parents: Do not make life difficult for everyone by not being supportive of your co-parent’s relationship with the children. You are both equally important in the lives of your children and should do your best to support each other as parents. If you do not support their relationship with the kids, you will hurt your children more than you will hurt your former partner.
Never forget that your co-parenting relationship is not about you or your former partner; it is about your children. It is in their best interest to let go of the past so you can provide a peaceful and loving environment for them.
Tools to Assist in Co-Parenting
In many circumstances, it is easier said than done to effectively communicate and co-parent with your former partner. The best way to define and set the boundaries for this new relationship is to have a comprehensive and well-drafted parenting plan. A parenting plan is a document required in all divorce or paternity proceeding involving minor children, outlining how the parents will share and be responsible for the upbringing of the child(ren), including a time-sharing schedule of when the child(ren) will spend time with each parent. This document can and should include comprehensive instructions on how the parents will communicate and conduct themselves with one another. The same will then be enforceable by the court. If communication has been an issue between the parents in the past, there are tools available to assist. The existence of apps like Our Family Wizard and Talking Parents provide parents with a platform to streamline all communication regarding the child(ren) in one place. As these communications can be entered into evidence in a court of law, it encourages parents to communicate cordially and limit conversations only to those in the best interest of the child(ren). Parents can choose to limit all communications to such apps in their parenting plan or can be ordered to do so by the court.
Reach Out to a Knowledgeable Legal Advocate Today!
If your co-parenting difficulties require the attention of the court, now is the time to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can effectively represent you. At Beaulieu-Fawcett | Newell Law Group, P.A., we are committed to providing high-quality legal services our clients can depend on. You can turn to us for the compassionate advice and guidance you deserve.
Contact us today at (561) 600-5711 to schedule your free case assessment and learn more about how we can help you.