The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there are 14.4 million custodial parents in the United States. Out of these cases, 48.6% have settled on either a legal or informal child support agreement. After a divorce, civil co-parenting is crucial as it determines how well your child or children will adjust to post-divorce issues like visitation and parenting plans. Below we review some of the ways you can make co-parenting smooth while ensuring your child does not suffer in the process.
1. Be a Parent First
Divorce brings your marriage to an end but it does not end your responsibilities as a parent. Your child’s emotional and financial needs are still crucial and require your assistance during this time. It is important to avoid neglecting your child’s needs while focusing on the divorce process. Be a present parent and ensure that your child’s life runs as smoothly as possible.
Psychologists say that children from high conflict divorced parents may experience problems such as delinquency and impulsive behavior. The good news is that as a parent, you can set the tone of your divorce and take steps to prevent the psychological effects divorce may have on your children.
2. Keep Your Children Out of the Middle of Divorce Process
As a concerned parent, do everything possible to keep your child from getting hurt by the divorce. Do not expect your child to share in anger or resentment toward the other parent, instead keep your feelings and information about the divorce private. Don’t discuss meetings with your divorce attorney or other proceedings and never include your child in the financial discussions of your case.
Seeking advice from a legal team on protecting your child from difficulties such as court hearings can help your child process it all in a healthy manner. Not all motions need to be written and a family court lawyer can best advise you on different motions and how to file them.
3. Involve the Other Parent
Undue emotional pain and stress can be caused by trying to cut off communications between the other parent and your child. While you may be experiencing pain from the divorce and may have ill-feelings towards their parenting, your child will benefit from your civility.
Do not use your child as a weapon to hurt your ex-partner. Talk to a family law attorney and a legal team for sound advice on how to handle divorce and child custody. Above all, the needs of your child should come first. Allow your child to be at peace as you handle all the divorce proceedings maturely.
Be careful not to practice parental alienation, the intentional or unintentional estrangement of your child with their other parent. This is often done through withholding of your child from the other parent, manipulating your child to believe the other parent is unsafe, and to look upon them unfavorably. In the end, the child loses when parents are involved in parental alienation and often parental alienation backfires and can cause further resentment toward the alienating parent later in life.
4. Be Adaptable
When you approach co-parenting with a focus on your child’s needs rather than your own, your decisions will be more effective for all parties involved. If your child wishes to spend more time with the other parent, allow them to do so without ill feelings. Thus showing your child their feelings are validated and understood. If your parenting plan does not work for your child, be flexible, and customize one that better fits everyone’s needs. Your legal team can assist in designing a schedule that is convenient for both parents as well as the child. Remember, above all, the needs of your child should come first.
Divorce is not an easy process as it comes with a lot of emotional strain. As a parent, you must protect your child from negative emotional and psychological effects that can be caused by divorce. The above tips will go a long way in making co-parenting a smooth process. If you are looking for a legal team to help you through divorce issues, contact us today.