Co-Parenting After a Divorce
Getting a divorce is stressful. But it can be even worse in cases involving young children. It can be hard for parents to establish the best parenting routine for their children after the parties have established separate households.
Courts are primarily concerned with the best interests of the children in divorces involving child custody issues. In the best divorces, this is also the primary concern of divorcing parents as well. There are steps you can take to put you in the best possible legal position, as well as help you on a practical, day to day basis. Establishing separate households when children are involved can be difficult. Following these simple steps can make the process easier for your children.
Do Not Expose Your Children to Conflict
Do not involve your children in the details of your divorce. If there is parental conflict, do your best to shield your children from it.
It is important to explain to your children why their parents are living in separate households in an age appropriate way. But it must also be told in a neutral way. Your children do not need to hear your side of the story. They also do not need to know the sordid details of your adult relationship.
Under no circumstances should you argue with your ex-spouse in front of your children. If you simply cannot get along well enough to have face to face meetings involving parenting exchanges, work out a formal parenting plan. This should help minimize face to face contact. However, remember that you and your ex-spouse will have an ongoing relationship regarding your children well into the future.
Focus on Your Children
Divorce is stressful for parents, but in many ways it is worse for your children. They are worried about you and they are worried about what this means for them.
When you have parenting time with your children, be 100% focused on them. Do not let any bitterness about your divorce seep into your time with your children.
It is important to ask your children how they are doing. It can also be informative to check in with their teachers, counselors and coaches to make sure they are keeping up. They observe and know your children and can have helpful insights
Stay engaged with your children. This not only helps your legal position, it also contributes to the health and well being of your children.
Establish a Routine
Chaos is not healthy for children. It is vital that the parents establish a consistent routine. Children need to know where they will be and when. It will be an adjustment for everyone as you establish two households.
There is no standard parenting time arrangement that works for every divorcing family. This is when you need to rely on a qualified, experienced family law attorney to help you develop an appropriate schedule for your family.
If necessary, communicate in writing, such as email, with your ex-spouse. This can avoid confusion, avoid face to face conflict and provide a written record of any exchanges and agreements.
Our Lawyers Are Ready To Assist You In This Journey
Fort Lauderdale attorney Sandra Bonfiglio has extensive experience representing parents in divorce proceedings. Contact us to discuss your needs.