For some couples, the end of the divorce process is also when all communication with their ex ends, too. But for those couples who have children, the finalization of divorce doesn’t mean the final time you will have to see or talk to your former partner.
Divorced parents still need to work together to provide a stable and supportive parenting environment for their children. This requires cooperation, understanding and communication. Whether you and your ex separated on good terms or you struggle to interact civilly, these co-parenting tips can help you stay on track.
5 essential co-parenting tips
- Focus on your kids – Divorce can be especially hard on children, who might have trouble adapting to the new arrangements. By focusing on fulfilling your children’s wants and needs, you reduce the risk of getting into old arguments with your ex. Remember that your children are relying on you to help them through the divorce transition. Don’t fight with your ex in front of them and instead work on how you can make your children feel comfortable and loved during this challenging time.
- Put your feelings aside – Going through a divorce can take an emotional toll. You’re hurt and angry, and that’s understandable. However, when it comes to co-parenting, keeping a positive attitude will help you much more. Instead of dwelling on how upset your ex makes you, do your best to stay friendly and focus on the task at hand.
- Communicate – It can be challenging for divorced couples to communicate, but as parents, you’re going to be in each other’s lives for some time, so you must learn how to talk to each other. Find a method that works best – texting, emailing, or talking on the phone – and stick to that each time. Open communication will build a stronger foundation for your parenting and ensure that your children are receiving the proper attention from both of you.
- Be flexible – Divorce can throw lives upside down. As you and your ex both adjust to life after divorce, it’s essential to be flexible when necessary. Listen to your ex and your kids and allow for changes when appropriate.
- Keep exchanges short – You might dread taking your kids to your ex’s house per your custody agreement. To make these hand-offs easier, keep them short and sweet. Focus on ensuring your children have everything they need and try not to lecture your ex about their parental duties. Anything you need to inform your ex about you can do over your preferred method of communication instead.
Divorce can make parenting more challenging, but it’s not impossible. By focusing on your children and setting your anger aside, you can engage in civil communication with your ex each time. Remember that your children’s best interests come first, no matter what.