Too often, people expect a divorce to completely sever whatever ties that exist between two people. However, this does not always happen — especially when two people have a child. While some people begrudgingly accept the fact that they continue to be linked through their child, others want to ensure that they remain a family.
Increasingly, it seems we are seeing more people in the latter situation. Divorcing parties want to end their marriage but keep some semblance of their family intact. If this is something you are interested in doing, here are some tips for how you might be able to do this.
- Keep the divorce civil. This means resolving issues outside of court and prioritizing fair solutions that everyone is happy with. Fighting over property, custody logistics or spousal support can put incredible strain on parents and children. This will make it less likely for everyone to get along once the legal process is over. And while conflict can still arise, parties should focus on resolving disputes respectfully and amicably.
- Put the children first. Putting aside your differences and marital history with the other parent can be a challenge. However, when you both commit to doing what is best for your child, it can be easier to make decisions together and stay unified as parents.
- Set clear expectations and guidelines. They say that good fences make good neighbors. You can take a similar approach to co-parenting. Setting guidelines, having a clear parenting plan in place and respecting one another’s boundaries can make it much easier to parent together and avoid conflict.
- Do not expect perfection. There will be adjustments and challenges when parents start co-parenting after a divorce. And that leaves a lot of room for missteps and difficult lessons. Prepare for this; let yourself learn from an experience, as opposed to allowing it to derail the arrangement completely. Be patient and keep communication open in order to make adjustments or clarifications as you go.
Co-parenting after divorce can be a challenge. However, if you are committed to it and keep these suggestions in mind, it could make it a little easier.