Co-parenting seems to be more popular than ever, and recent studies have highlighted the importance of both parents maintaining an active role in their children’s lives after their divorce. If you are preparing to go through a divorce in New Jersey and you are on reasonably good terms with your spouse, it is worth considering whether co-parenting is a viable option. If it isn’t, that’s okay. But, if it is, successful co-parenting could provide you, your children, and your co-parent with additional bonding and learning opportunities that are not available with a traditional custody and visitation schedule.
5 Ways to Make Co-Parenting a Success for Everyone Involved
Could co-parenting work for you and your family? If you think it may be an option, here are five tips for framing your relationship with your co-parent after your divorce:
1. Focus on Effective Communication
In a successful co-parenting relationship, effective communication is key. You and your co-parent should be equally responsive to one another, and you should keep all conversations constructive rather than destructive. If this is difficult at first, that’s okay. Make a concerted effort to keep your communications clear and efficient, and you will likely find that making plans with your former spouse becomes significantly easier over time.
2. Focus on Cooperation Rather than Conflict
In this same vein, focus on cooperation rather than conflict. If you know that you can be temperamental at times (or if your former spouse has a tendency to become adversarial), keep this in mind when potential disputes arise. Instead of picking a fight, look for common ground, and be willing to compromise if you expect your co-parent to do the same.
3. Always, Always Keep Your Children’s Best Interests in Mind
Regardless of any differences of opinion that may arise between you and your former spouse, when co-parenting, it is critical to always keep your children’s best interests in mind. If you approach disagreements from the perspective of doing what is best for your children (and your former spouse does the same), you will find that it is often much easier to arrive at mutually-satisfactory decisions.
4. Set the Example for Your Co-Parent
When you establish a successful co-parenting plan as part of your divorce, you set rules that you and your spouse both agreed to follow. So, follow them. Set the example for your co-parent; and, if he or she deviates from your plan, look for an appropriate time (when your children are not present) to address the issue in a non-adversarial way.
5. Be Mentally Prepared for Challenges Along the Way
Finally, no matter how much you plan ahead, and no matter how much you believe that you and your co-parent are on the same page, you are bound to run into issues as you transition into your post-divorce life. This is to be expected; and, if you treat challenges as opportunities to grow, you can address them head-on without letting them negatively impact your relationship with your children.
Regardless of your thoughts on co-parenting (or shared parenting), if you are preparing to go through a divorce with children, addressing your children’s needs should be one of your top priorities. If you have questions about divorce, child custody, child support, or co-parenting, I invite you to reach out for a confidential initial consultation.
Schedule an Initial Consultation with Hackensack Divorce Attorney Carrie S. Schultz
Are you preparing to go through a divorce with children in New Jersey? If so, please schedule a confidential initial consultation in Hackensack, call us at (201) 880-9770 or request an appointment online today.