When a couple’s relationship breaks down and they decide to end their marriage, they are likely to experience a number of strong emotions which may make it difficult to remain civil with one another. However, when spouses have children together, they should remember that divorce is not the end of their relationship, since they will both be parents of their children for the rest of their lives. By taking steps to establish a good foundation for co-parenting during divorce, they will be able to provide a good environment for their children for years to come. Here are some helpful tips for working together with your ex to co-parent your children:
- Maintain consistency between both homes - Even if your style of parenting is different from your ex-spouse, it is best for children if their parents are on the same page about issues such as rules for behavior, school expectations, and methods of discipline. Work together with your ex-spouse to find parenting strategies you can agree on.
- Stick to regular routines - Kids need consistency in their lives, so it is important to follow regular schedules for meal times, bedtimes, and other activities when they are staying with you. This structure will give them stability and reduce their anxiety about what to expect when moving between homes.
- Communicate with each other - Make sure the other parent knows what is going on in your children’s lives and is up to date on their educational and medical needs. Let them know if you need their help with anything, if children have a major event or accomplishment to share, or if there is anything else they need to be aware of.
- Be flexible - Court-ordered parenting time schedules are important, but either you or your ex may want to deviate from the schedule from time to time, especially when children are involved in events or activities. Be open to accommodating these requests while putting children’s needs first.
- Encourage your kids to have a good relationship with the other parent - While you may not have positive feelings about your ex-spouse, they are still your children’s parent, and you should allow and encourage them to maintain a positive relationship with each other.
- Keep kids out of conflicts - Disagreements with your ex are likely, but you should do everything you can to avoid arguing in front of your children. Never ask children to take sides, avoid disparaging the other parent in front of them, and do not use them to send messages to the other parent.
- Take care of yourself - Co-parenting means that you will have some free time when your children are with their other parent. Using this time to exercise, eat healthy food, socialize with friends, participate in activities you enjoy, and take care of your own needs will help you be the best parent you can be for them.
Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer
If you need help resolving the outstanding issues in your divorce, the skilled, compassionate attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can protect your rights and advocate for your children’s best interests as you work to reach an agreement that will provide a foundation for ongoing co-parenting. Contact a Schaumburg divorce attorney today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.