Tensions can be high in the aftermath of a divorce or non-marital split. This can be a problem for parents who share children and the children themselves.
What can you and your co-parent do to more effectively work together in the best interests of their children?
Aim for a relatively equal split of parenting time
If you both want to spend as much time as possible with your children, and one of you gets or tries to get much more parenting time than the other, it could leave the other parent and the kids unhappy. That grudge may affect the future of the co-parenting relationship, making working together harder. Agreeing to a fairer time split, where practical, can help you both feel you continue to play a relatively equal role in your child’s life.
Forgive and forget
Each of you will make mistakes when co-parenting. For example, you might forget to pack your child’s sports equipment when sending them off to their other parent. Or, your former spouse might forget to inform you that the child has music practice and will finish later than usual on the day you are meant to pick them up from school. Mistakes happen; they do not necessarily mean that someone is a terrible parent or is doing it to try and make things difficult for you or to make you look bad in front of your kids. Learning to “forgive and forget” (when appropriate) can be a valuable co-parenting skill.
Find a form of communication that works for you
If you are at the stage where you can pick up the phone and call each other when there is a matter relating to your child, then great. But in many cases, you won’t be there straight after a divorce. The pain and hurt of the divorce and what led to it could mean you are better off using a co-parenting app to communicate or only sending messages rather than making calls or talking face to face.
Learning more about how to keep your divorce as amicable as possible can pave the way for a strong co-parenting relationship that will benefit you and your children. Seeking legal guidance can be beneficial in this regard.