Co-parenting is never an easy task, especially when divorce is relatively recent. Although there are plenty of resources that parents can look at in order to help them through this challenge in their parenting journey, unfortunately some of the most important lessons can only be learned by trial and error. Read on to learn some of the key tips to help you adjust to this new parenting style in order to make the transition as easy as possible for you and the children.
Keep Communication as a Priority
The most important thing to remember about co-parenting is that you will need to communicate. Communicating with the other parent helps to alleviate your own concerns and establish positive relationships that benefit the children going forward. Even though you may be facing your own emotional difficulties working with the other parent, it is best to put this aside as best as possible so that you can interact peacefully. Communication should always be respectful, business-like, and free of profanities or insults. It is also helpful to keep each communication to one topic to keep things organized. Perhaps most importantly, communication should never occur “through” the children as messengers.
There is a lot of change going on in a child’s life when a divorce happens, particularly if both spouses move to a new location. The children will have to adjust to new homes, new friends and even new schools. Adding the additional responsibility of adapting to the emotional challenges of their parents continuing to fight after the divorce is finalized is unnecessary and something that should be avoided if possible.
Being active and hands-on as a parent can empower you and reduce the stress in your own life going forward in a divorce. It is essential that you stay as consistent as possible. This is beneficial to you and your co-parent, but it is also helpful for the children.
Consistency helps you settle into new lives and new traditions as soon as possible. Once you and the other parent have established a consistent parenting time schedule, stay with it. You must be completely dedicated to this in order to reinforce the schedule for the children as well as reduce any potential conflict between you and the other party. It is okay to deviate from the schedule by agreement with the other party on occasion, but it should be avoided if possible, especially in the early days of this new routine.
Avoid Additional Arguments and Drama
A final tip for managing co-parenting together is to avoid hot button issues wherever possible. Although you and your co-parent likely know one another very well at this point in time, emotional triggers at the end of a divorce can still cause minor issues to flare up into big ones very quickly. Try to avoid the discussion of hot button issues at all if possible, and try to remain calm anytime you need to engage in conversation with the other party.
To the best extent possible, make sure that you keep the children in mind and work together to communicate and cooperate. It might not always be easy, but it will lead to the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Communicate with an Arizona family lawyer to discuss your options if you are thinking about moving forward with a divorce so that you know what to expect.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Tips for Successful Co-parenting, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.