Sharing custody with an ex after a divorce or separation is a difficult task. Through co-parenting, you and your ex can give your children the stability, security, and close relationships that they need from both parents. Here Our San Diego child custody attorneys explain what co-parenting is and how to do it successfully.
What is Co-Parenting?
After a divorce, one of the best things for children is for their parents to co-parent together. This means both of their parents play an active role in their children's daily lives. Co-parenting ensures that the children's needs are met as well as enables them to keep a close relationship with both parents.
The quality of the co-parenting relationship can impact the mental and emotional wellbeing of the child. Therefore, co-parenting must be more than just sharing custody with an ex-spouse. Co-parenting goes a step further by having the parents place their child's needs above their own. Co-parents are focused on putting their issues aside to peacefully work together.
Benefits of Co-Parenting
While co-parenting, your children should know that they are more important than the conflicts that ended their relationship and understand that your love for them doesn't change because you are no longer in a relationship with their other parent.
When children of divorce have parents who can cooperate with each other, they are more likely to cope with the changing circumstances. Some additional benefits of co-parenting include:
- They feel secure.
- Have a consistent routine. (Stability is crucial for children of divorce).
- Develop better problem-solving skills.
- Less likely to experience mental health issues.
How to Successfully Co-Parent
Putting aside relationship issues with an ex is easier said than done, especially if the couple ended on bad terms. You have to make shared parenting decisions, interact during drop-off times, and consistently communicate with each other. After a divorce, sharing custody can feel downright impossible.
However, for the sake of your children's wellbeing, it is possible to overcome the challenges that come from co-parenting. These tips are here to help you stay calm, be consistent, and resolve conflicts to make sharing custody as simple as possible.
Separate Your Personal Feelings
One of the biggest contributing factors to fighting amongst co-parents is their inability to move forward from their past relationship issues. While healing from a relationship isn't a straightforward process, you need to try to put aside those differences for your children's benefit. It's okay to be upset or hurt by your ex, but don't let it determine how you co-parent. If you struggle with past resentment, reach out to some friends, family members, or a therapist to get your troubles off your chest.
Don't Put Your Children in the Middle
Fighting in front of the kids, badmouthing your ex, or making your child be the messenger between you and your ex does not foster a positive co-parenting relationship. It can put your children in a difficult position where they feel forced to choose a side. Additionally, it can negatively impact their relationship with one of their parents. Neither of which is good for the child's wellbeing.
Create a New Relationship With Your Ex
While you and your ex's marriage may be over, your job as parents will still continue. To ensure your child comes first, separate the personal relationship with your ex. Try to think of it as a business relationship, one that is entirely about protecting your child's interests. In a business relationship, you are cordial with your partner. Communication is clear, straightforward, and stays on topic. All of which you should do when you work with your co-parent.
Co-parenting is key to helping your kids thrive after a divorce. As you navigate this new transition, keep these tips in mind to help facilitate the process of sharing custody. You and your ex will be less stressed and feel more confident in your abilities to raise your children. More importantly, your children will be happier in the long run.
Don't Go Through Family Law Matters Alone
In a perfect world, sharing custody with an ex would be easy. Unfortunately, that's not the case for many. If you need legal assistance with a child custody matter, do not hesitate to contact Embry Family Law P.C.. Our San Diego child custody lawyers understand the emotional toll a divorce can have on the family, which is why we are dedicated to guiding our clients through these difficult times.
Have questions about your child custody case? Call us today at (619) 485-6476 to discuss your options with our San Diego family law attorneys.