It’s likely that you didn’t get married with the intention of one day divorcing your partner. Yet, every year, thousands of spouses across the United States call it quits. Going through a marital breakup is challenging enough for any couple, but when children are involved, divorce can quickly get complicated and stressful.
Regardless of how you feel about your ex, it’s safe to say your children are extremely important to you. Children benefit the most when both parents are involved in their lives. This is why shared parenting, or co-parenting, has become one of the most popular child custody arrangements in the state of Arkansas. What follows may help you facilitate a peaceful and successful co-parenting relationship with your former spouse.
Seeing your ex may bring up emotions from the past relationship, which is understandable. But, remember, the marriage is over. It’s about the kids now. It can be helpful to treat your parenting relationship as a business partnership.
Treat your co-parent like a colleague. Would you consider just not showing up to a meeting with a coworker? Handle the co-parenting relationship the same way. Be respectful and professional, and the other parent will likely reciprocate.
Effective communication is crucial
A lack of communication may have been one of the main causes of your divorce. This probably won’t magically change now that you are no longer married. However, effective communication is the key to successful co-parenting.
Again, keep in mind that this is about the children now. Luckily, today’s technology enables people to communicate in a myriad of ways. If you find it hard to speak with the other parent, try text messaging or email. Also, it can be very beneficial to work with a coach or therapist to help with your communication skills.
What’s fair may not be equal
Following a divorce, many parents think that fair means equal sharing. However, what makes sense for the kids may not always be 50/50. For example, if you have to travel for work, it may make more sense for the children to stay with the other parent. It’s not about control; it is about doing what is best for the children.
You’ve just dealt with a difficult divorce so there may be times when you just need to be alone, even if it means giving up your weekend with the kids. This is one of the benefits of co-parenting after a divorce. Not only will you get to spend valuable time with the kids, but you will also have time to yourself to further your career goals, participate in hobbies or just practice self-care. Contrary to popular belief, parenting after divorce does not have to be grueling or stressful.