You and your spouse tried everything you two could think of to make the marriage worst and revive the lost love, but it just wasn’t happening. To protect the kids, you shied away from divorce, but the reality has finally set it: divorce is the best option.
You’ve now maneuvered the divorce process and learned of the new child custody guidelines. If the custody agreement declares any form of split custody, you and your ex will have to create a co-parenting plan. You may or may not respect each other, but in any case, focus on the best interests of your children. To achieve that, you and your ex must maintain an amicable relationship when dealing with your children.
Four positive elements of a successful co-parenting plan
Co-parenting can be difficult, but considering the four elements below can help you and, more importantly, your children, adjust to the new normal.
- Consistent schedules: Children thrive on consistency. Trying to limit disruptions and changes in their life is critical to maintaining their physical development, as well as their mental and emotional health. It takes time to adjust to new environments, so anything viewed as “steady” can only help the transition.
- Proximity logistics: Because your child is now living at two homes, it’s important to consider where you or your ex plan to relocate. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I live close enough to my ex that child transportation in easily manageable?
- Does my move impact my child’s ability to attend the same school?
- Does my move alienate my child from their friends?
- Scheduling logistics: Your children likely have after-school activities.
- Can you and your ex agree on who is picking up the children on certain days of the week?
- Can you tie this agreement to your custody determinations and work schedules?
- Can you ensure the child isn’t stranded waiting for a parent that isn’t going to arrive or arrive an hour late?
Successful co-parenting can be challenging to maintain, and there is no doubt that adversity will arise. Both of you will make some mistakes, but understanding those mistakes and correcting them is what’s important. Your children will appreciate the effort.