Couples that divorce but continue to work together cooperatively as parents offer their children the best chances for a healthy adjustment to the divorce.
Co-parenting allows a divorced couple to work together to create a fair and thoughtful parenting plan. Creating a comprehensive parenting plan will benefit all involved, especially the children, diminish some of the challenges of divorce, and encourage positive long-term relationships generally.
Co-parenting requires a conscious decision by each of the parents to put their children’s emotional wellbeing first and before their own when creating a co-parenting plan.
In the vast majority of divorce cases, parents want to remain engaged and active in their children’s lives. Even though the divorced spouses now reside in different locations and homes, the children still need to know and feel that they are loved unconditionally.
The Parenting Plan – Basic Elements
Ideally, a well drafted parenting plan is not a static document etched in stone – but rather a living and changing agreement about how best to share the custody of their children.
The purpose of a shared parenting plan is to allow for the resolution of the following different types of parenting issues: custody and visitation amount and frequency of child support, medical needs of children, religious upbringing, holidays and special events such as birthdays and special occasions.
Keeping The Relationship Civil
Perhaps nothing is as important to a child of divorcing parents then to know that their parents do not hate each other. Children tend to think they are somehow responsible for their parents failed relationship. This impression is formed when the parents fail to communicate clearly and respectfully to each other. The child becomes confused and begins to internalize the conflict between the parents.
Studies have shown that children with cooperative and supportive parents make a much better adjustment to the divorce then do uncooperative parents. Therefore keeping the peace is terribly important to your child. Where there is emotional conflict between ex-spouses, try your best to take the high road whenever possible with your ex-spouse and make sure you keep your children out of it.
In order to keep the peace between ex-spouses, here are a few things you should consider when co-parenting. First, be polite and respectful to your ex-spouse in front of your children. Always keep your support and alimony payments current and never ask the children to deliver the check to the other parent.
Keep financial issues such as child support and alimony far away from the children. Children are better off not knowing the financial terms of their parents’ post divorce settlement terms. Never prevent the child from visiting the parent, especially when the child has asked to spend time with the other parent. A child needs the influence and love from both parents. Both the father and mother have something valuable to offer the child, which is why both parental influences, mother and father, are essential to the healthy and adjusted growth of the child.
Keep in mind that parents usually do not have identical parenting skills or approaches to raising their children, which is one reason why putting together a detailed parenting plan is so beneficial.
Adapting To Changed Circumstances
Finally, remember the child has not caused the divorce. Both parents need to make it clear to the child that neither parent is rejecting the child and that both parents care and love the child and want to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child’s welfare. This works best if you also show your child that you trust their ability to adapt to the changed circumstances and that everything will turn out well for both the children and the parents.
What If The Ex-Spouse Bad-Mouths Other Parent: