If you and your spouse have agreed to a low-conflict online divorce, then you stand a very good chance of being able to co-parent effectively. While attorneys can be helpful for high-dispute environments, they can’t mend the riffs that arise when a divorce goes to trial. If children are involved, the animosity can remain and manifest itself even after the final decree is in place.
This conflict residue can eventually lead to situations where you and your spouse are competing for your child’s love, and that is never a good thing. When possible, it’s always best to set aside differences and become effective co-parents after the divorce papers have been finalized. Here are some tips for doing just that:
One Rule, Two Homes
Difficult though it may be, you have to work together when it comes to raising your children to be disciplined and responsible. That means having one rule for both homes. If the child is to be in bed or home from hanging out with friends by 10:30, then it needs to be the same time under both roofs. If one parent is too strict and the other too lax, then it becomes very easy for the child to pick favorites and play Mom and Dad against each other.
Waiting until the last minute to inform your spouse of events that affect custody time is one of the biggest causes of conflict between co-parents. While sometimes it’s unavoidable, more often than not, it isn’t, especially when it comes to the holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving should not be difficult on children, but it becomes so when co-parents do not talk about plans far enough in advance.
Your best course of action, always, is to set a time as far in advance as possible and stick to it. Don’t try to change things at the last minute just because you think it would be more enjoyable for the child. Be considerate of your co-parenting partner’s schedule, and you’ll end up stopping most conflicts before they start.
If you and your spouse work effectively as co-parents but you’re not particularly fond of each other, don’t try to force togetherness under the guise that it’s better for the child. Kids are smart, and they pick up on things quickly. If you and your ex have difficulty hiding the tension that exists between you, then don’t try to force yourselves together during events that are supposed to center on the child. You may have noble intentions, but it usually doesn’t work.
Life after the divorce forms can be challenging for parents, but by committing to strong communication and consideration, you’ll be able to adjust quickly and give your children the stability they deserve.