It’s no secret that
divorce is emotionally difficult, sometimes extremely so. You may have been fantasizing
about the divorce for a long time, but when it’s actually happening,
you can feel like your whole world has been turned upside-down, especially
if you have children with your spouse.
The divorce takes a lot of courage, and it involves
a lot of change. It often means new homes, new emails, new passwords, new bank accounts,
separate health insurance, and so on. It’s like starting your life
all over from scratch. When you have kids, it’s that much harder
because you don’t want the divorce to damage your relationship with
your children. And you don’t want it to impact them negatively.
One of the best ways to have a “good divorce,” is to develop
a healthy co-parenting relationship with your spouse during and after
the divorce. In this article, we offer tips on how to develop a positive
co-parenting relationship with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
Good Parenting Tips
For starters, recognize that your emotions may be very raw right now. The
divorce may be absolutely for the best, but you’ve still lost a
lot. So, while it’s okay to feel ups and downs, the important thing
is to think rationally and to intentionally minimize the impact on your
children. Here are some co-parenting tips to start today:
- No matter why you’re divorcing, be kind to your spouse. Treat him
or her with dignity and respect and expect them to do the same.
- Treat your divorce as a business transaction and separate your emotions
from the divorce process.
- Do not belittle your spouse to your children.
- Do not belittle your spouse within your children’s earshot.
- Stay off social media during your divorce. If you accidentally post something
that angers your spouse, it can send a friendly, collaborative divorce
straight to court, which can, in turn, impact the co-parenting relationship.
- Talk to your spouse and agree to have consistent schedules and rules at
both homes. For example, if a 16-year old’s curfew is 10:00 PM at
Mom’s house, it shouldn’t be midnight at Dad’s. Instead,
the curfew should be the same at both households.
- Try to be flexible with each other. If your ex needs you to watch the kids
so they can work and you’re available, say “yes” and
think of it as bonus kid time! That’s a lot better than saying,
“No, it’s your day. Get a sitter.”
- Keep each other informed of all kid-related activities and events.
- Both of you should make a point to be actively involved in your children’s
lives. One way is to take them to extra-curricular activities and participate
One of the best ways to have a good co-parenting relationship is for you
and your spouse to agree to treat each other with kindness and respect.
When there are issues with your children, have open communication with
each other and try to make decisions that are in your children’s
best interests. If you can agree to get along despite what went wrong
in the marriage, you’re on the right track to a healthy co-parenting