If you are a divorced parent, you are likely keenly aware of the challenges that come with co-parenting with your ex-spouse. Perhaps the two of you still have unresolved conflict or have hurt feelings and resentment that never fully went away. However, you should not let these feelings get in the way of providing the stable and secure environment your children need to thrive. It is in their best interests that you and your former spouse develop a civil working relationship and remain calm, consistent, and capable of resolving conflicts that might arise.
Here are some tips that will help you skillfully navigate this situation:
- Set aside any negative feelings and emotions: This is easier said than done, but it is crucial that feelings of anger and resentment take a back seat to the needs of your children. To avoid bottling them up, find other outlets to vent, such as a therapist, close friends, or activities that help you let off steam. You do not, under any circumstances, want to vent to your children. Doing so will put them in a position where they might feel bad about spending time with the other parent or feel as though they have to choose.
Work on communicating with your co-parent: Effective communication is key to a well-functioning co-parenting relationship.
Consider the following for more productive discussions:
- Set a business-like or neutral tone. When you speak to your ex as you would with a colleague, in a cordial and respectful manner, things are less likely to get heated.
- Make requests instead of demands. And effective way to do this is to refrain from phrasing your request like a statement.
- Become a better listener. Both you and your ex-spouse need to take the time to hear each other’s voices, even if you end up disagreeing. The point is to make an effort to understand one another.
- Keep your conversations focused on your children. The more you deviate from topics revolving around your children, the more opportunities you will have for arguments that will only do your co-parenting relationship a disservice.
- Work as a team: It might be difficult to always be on the same page, but the more unified you are as co-parents, the better it will be for your children. You should aim for consistent rules, disciplinary styles, and schedules in both households to avoid confusing your children. When children have to live under two separate sets of rules and expectations it can cause a lot of resentment, stress, and confusion, so try to work together on consistency. Of course, you will sometimes disagree, so you should both try your best to talk things out and work toward a compromise.
- Make visitations easier on your children: Going back and forth between households is unavoidable, so try to make this situation easier for your children to cope with. Help them anticipate changes by reminding them of an upcoming visit. You can even help them pack to ensure they do not forget anything important. It is also best to always drop your children off rather than taking them from another household, which prevents interrupting any special moments. When your children do return, give them time to adjust and give them some space.
Family Law Attorney in Gainesville
At Swanson Law Center, our collaborative family law attorneys are here to help you peacefully navigate what can potentially be a complex legal process, allowing you to preserve peace of mind that your legal rights will be protected. We offer a modern approach that is backed by decades of experience in family law.
Contact us for the skilled representation you deserve today at (352) 480-0088 to discuss your case with an experienced legal professional.