3 Tips for Healthy Co-Parenting Following a Divorce

Regardless of how your marriage ends, things get complicated when you and your ex-spouse have children and a custody arrangement in place that you both need to respect. Of course, you likely understand how important co-parenting is for your children’s psychological development and emotional well-being. However, the challenges of co-parenting aren’t as insurmountable as they may seem at first. In fact, there is a lot you can do to help your children enjoy a bond with both of their parents regardless of how your divorce has ended. In this article, you will find 3 helpful tips that will help you avoid conflict with your ex and provide your children with the parental stability they need.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

While this piece of advice may seem all-too-obvious, it will likely be the one that’s the hardest to apply. Especially in the period immediately following the divorce, all the negative emotions may still come to the forefront, clouding your judgment and making it difficult to focus on effective co-parenting rather than personal grudges. Still, while you cannot simply switch off the negative emotions you may still be feeling towards your ex, there is plenty you can do to prevent them from controlling your behavior. Some of the ways to achieve this may include:

  • Shifting your focus from your feelings to your children’s feelings and needs.
  • Finding more constructive ways to vent your emotions (such as physical exercise, talking to your friends or writing down your feelings).
  • Working on your responses (for example, while you may still feel anger and resentment toward your ex, you may learn to control how – and if – you manifest these emotions)

2. Re-Learn To Communicate With Your Ex

Since communication issues are often at the root of relationship problems that lead to divorce, trying to learn how to communicate effectively with your ex may not seem possible at all. However, it may be more feasible to overcome the communication barrier if you change your frame of reference – that is, the way you feel and think about your ex and your new situation.

When communicating with the other parent regarding your children and co-parenting arrangements, you can train yourself not to think about them as your ex-husband or ex-wife. Instead, as some specialists suggest, try viewing them as a work colleague or another acquaintance that you may not be especially fond of, but you still need to get along with in order to achieve a common goal.

Employing this and similar techniques will not only help you to distance yourself from the situation and your emotions, but also set an appropriate tone and manner of communication. Another helpful idea might be communicating in writing as often as possible if in-person contacts still end up in too much conflict.

3. Be Flexible About Co-Parenting Arrangements

Yes, your co-parenting plan is important and sticking to it as much as possible can help set healthy expectations for your children, your ex, and yourself. Still, while co-parenting arrangements can help avoid conflict, failing to show flexibility may actually have the opposite effect. Life circumstances change, unexpected events happen, and there may be times where either your ex or you are not able to meet their obligations. Therefore, be prepared to show some flexibility and review your co-parenting from time to time as personal circumstances change.

However, there may be other legal issues related to your divorce, child custody, and child support that you may need to tackle before you can focus on developing an effective co-parenting strategy. If you are currently dealing with any of such issues, we encourage you to contact The Grey Legal Group. We are a team of trusted family law attorneys and we will gladly use our skills and experience to help you solve any pressing legal issues your family may be facing.

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The Grey Legal Group, APC

At The Grey Legal Group, we take pride in getting to know our clients personally. Whether you’re going through a divorce, child custody issues, or problems enforcing divorce orders, you can feel confident in our knowledgeable, hands-on approach.

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