Even though your divorce may be final, if you have children with your spouse, your personal relationship with your ex is sure to continue. Welcome to the interesting and challenging world of co-parenting! As you learn to adhere to the guidelines set forth in your child custody agreement, you may encounter some roadblocks, especially at the beginning of the process. You may find that little disagreements rapidly spin out of control. If you are informed about the potential barriers to success, however, you are more likely to maintain a healthy interaction with your ex and their potential new mate.
It is important to recognize that you will encounter obstacles and challenges throughout your co-parenting experience. You may disagree, for example, about which summer camp to send the kids to or which after-school activity would be most beneficial. Remind yourself that you have declared a “ceasefire” with your ex; in essence you must prohibit yourself from reopening old wounds when discussing childcare decisions. Calling a truce can help you build a stronger co-parenting relationship.
It is inevitable that you will argue with your ex-spouse about some child custody matters. Frankly, you probably argued with your ex during your marriage as well, so this may be a difficult trap to escape. Remember that your co-parenting actions will have a direct effect on your children’s emotional and mental health; you should be careful to act in a respectful fashion whenever possible.
If you feel as though you are having difficulty abiding by your child custody agreement, or you notice that you both need help relating to each other as co-parents, seek advice from your divorce team. You should enlist the help of divorce attorneys as well as therapists, mediators and other professional support to guide you through this difficult process. Your divorce attorney and other members of the team can provide assistance during this new and challenging experience.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “We’re divorced! What’s left to argue over?” Diana L. Danois, Apr. 26, 2013