Divorce is a stressful event that complicates almost every aspect of life—maintaining civil relationships with your ex-spouse, managing financial shifts and handling post-divorce day-to-day responsibilities become muddled even further when childcare is involved. Here, the team of Maryland family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law offer some tried-and-true co-parenting tips for divorced spouses to ensure any issues that surface regarding childcare are mitigated as much as possible.
Divorce is Common in Today’s Society
While the divorce rate has fallen overall (but not for those under age 50, with simultaneous trends reflecting that many are delaying first marriages until reaching their late 20’s and early 30’s) in recent decades, it is still true that approximately 39% of all married couples go through divorce in the United States. The reality is that divorce is a common life experience that impacts couples from every walk of life, no matter their race, culture, or socioeconomic level. It is also true that a significant amount of couples going through a divorce share children together, and these children will surely be impacted by the divorce and events preceding and succeeding it.
Co-parenting is the process of maintaining active parenting roles in your children’s lives post-divorce and is often one of the best ways to allow your children to keep a close relationship with both parents. Co-parenting can help children feel as secure and emotionally healthy as possible during and after a divorce. While it is impossible to entirely alleviate the effects of divorce on children in our society, there are tips that co-parents can implement into their daily routine to help support their children through the process and reduce stress for all parties involved.
Aim for a Co-Parenting System That is as Equitable as Possible
While everyone leads busy lives with different schedules and unique levels of responsibility, attempt to plan your co-parenting strategy to allow for each parent to have a fair and reasonable amount of quality time with your shared children. It is important to set boundaries with your ex-spouse both during and after divorce. This will best mitigate any feelings of resentment in one partner, who may otherwise feel they are not receiving as much time with their child as the other parent. This also provides consistency and reliability for your children; they will surely gain comfort from a dependable schedule that allows them to see and enjoy quality time with both of their parents often.
Be Direct About Critical Parenting Decisions
While it may feel difficult at first, it is crucial to reach shared decisions with your ex-partner regarding financial, educational and medical decisions regarding your children; this is why open and direct communication is key. If you have strong opinions about how your children should be educated, which sports or extracurricular activities they participate in or where they should go to doctors’ appointments, it is crucial you discuss them with your ex-spouse, as they may have different opinions on these matters. It is also important to set a budget for the necessary expenses involved in co-parenting that both parties can agree on. It is also important to accept that compromise is sometimes necessary in order to co-parent effectively. Rank your opinions about your child’s upbringing from least to most critical. While it may be appropriate to remain firm on your strongest held convictions, it may be beneficial, if not necessary, to take a backseat on other less-invested decisions. This will help both parents feel heard and respected.
Demonstrate Patience as Often as Possible
There is no doubt that navigating co-parenting will occasionally stir up negative emotions, and you may often feel frustrated at your ex-spouse when confronting differences in opinions or resentment regarding the divorce. While it is normal and expected to feel stressed or upset about obstacles in your co-parenting strategy, try your best to remain as “professional” and neutral a demeanor as possible. Remember that this is likely a new experience for both of you, and mistakes and disagreements are an inevitable part of co-parenting. This attitude will go a long way when trying to care for your children and remain civil with your ex-partner in the most productive way. Where possible, focus on the positive qualities your ex-spouse exhibits—this will encourage you to show them more patience, sympathy and kindness when facing a disagreement or stressful situation.
Learn More About Co-Parenting From a Divorce and Family Law Attorney at Rodier Family Law Today
Divorce can already be overwhelming and costly for separating couples, and the concept of co-parenting adds an extra element of complexity to the situation. That is why the compassionate Bel Air divorce and family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law believe wholeheartedly in making these significant life transitions as easy as possible for their clients. To learn more about co-parenting and how you can implement these best practices into your parenting schedule post-divorce, contact Rodier Family Law today.