Even when you and a former spouse have made the decision to end your marriage,
your relationship with one another may never actually be over when children
are involved. After a divorce, you must move from being a married couple
to being two people that are raising children with one another. Since
divorces often involve a considerable degree of hurt feelings and emotions,
working with one another in this capacity may be stressful. When you must
co-parent with a former spouse, there are some important things that you
should keep in mind to make this relationship as productive as possible.
Tips for Successful Co-Parenting
Just because the divorce is over, all of the problems that existed between
you and your former spouse don’t automatically go away. One of the
most important things to remember is that you are maintaining this relationship
for your child. Since you are unable to control anyone’s actions
except for your own, you must be sure to place the focus on the children
and alter your habits to best suit their needs.
When you must co-parent after a divorce, remember:
- Children will observe all interactions between you and your former spouse.
- Children deserve to have both parents in their lives, even if they don’t
spend equal time with them.
- Bad mouthing an ex in front of your children can only harm all relationships.
- Children should not be used as a go-between between you and your ex.
- Remain open and honest with the children and the other parent.
- Allow children to have contact with their parent and do not monitor these
Most importantly, allow your children to voice their opinions when applicable.
While you always have the final say as a parent, giving them the opportunity
to speak may resolve an argument between you and your former spouse. When
a child is looking forward to spending time with the other parent, don’t
discourage them in this, but instead, remain helpful.
Remember, co-parenting revolves around doing what is in the best interests
of the children. As a parent, that is your responsibility. If you are
having difficulty co-parenting or having problems with the custody agreement,
contact the Oregon family law attorneys at McKinley Irvin to discuss your legal options.