Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce by Guest Blogger Scott Morgan

Getting divorced is not an easy process, even for two people who do not have children together or children from prior relationships.  There is often an emotional aftermath that can take months or years to overcome.  But adults have resources and can reach out for many different types of assistance – books, counseling, coaching, support groups, friends, family and even the media.  Children require assistance from their parents at a time when both parents are emotionally distraught themselves.

 

Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce by Guest Blogger Scott Morgan


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“When a divorce involves children things often get a lot more complicated and there is a lot more at stake. Having children together creates a bond between two people and it is essential to remember that divorcing parents still must function as parents, even if they no longer function as spouses. When you are getting divorced make sure that you cushion the transition as much as you can for your children. Learning to co-parent with an ex-spouse can be challenging but in the end it is entirely worth the effort.

 

Keep the Conversation Centered


If you are calling your spouse to talk about your children stick to the topic at hand. If you find the conversation drifting off topic, gently redirect the topic to this even if it means saying “what I really wanted to talk about is…” While it is easy to get drawn into debates about old marriage issues that don’t really have a solution, it is important to just leave those past issues in the past and center the conversation on the children.

 

Discuss New Stepparents Before They Happen


If there is a chance that you are going to be bringing a new stepparent into your child’s life, give your ex a warning. Chances are good that otherwise they will hear about it from your children first and this can make things awkward and difficult. Remember that you have nothing to hide and that the stepparent will be a part of the children’s lives now. But you should make them aware of the changed situation early on so they have a chance to process it and adapt. Ideally, your new spouse and your ex will meet and have a decent relationship. At a minimum, you want them to get along in front of the children and have no outward animosity toward each other.

 

Keep Communication Constant


When divorced parents do not communicate on a regular basis, it is far too easy for important things to drop through the cracks. Talk with your ex every week or at the least every two weeks. Before visits, call to confirm. The more you communicate with your ex, the easier it will get. Over time, this can even help you mend some fences and go forward as friends or at least friendly acquaintances.

 

Talk With Your Kids Together


If there is a serious problem with your child you might want to ask your spouse to come and have a family meeting with both parents and the children. Seeing both their parents in one place can help a child realize how serious a situation is. It can also remind them that both of their parents are united and that they can’t play one off of the other. Some parents do well by arranging family dinners together from time to time. While some divorces make this uncomfortable and impossible, in other post-divorce families where things are relatively friendly, this can be a wonderful ritual for your children.

 

If you are coping with divorce and you still want to do the right thing for your children it is important to find common ground with your former spouse. It is far from easy but you will find that it is something that can be accomplished with time and effort. Consider what you and your ex still share and move forward with your children’s best interests in mind.”

 

About the Author


Scott Morgan is a board certified Austin divorce lawyer who regularly blogs on the subject of divorce and family law. You can read his blog at AustinDivorceSpecialist.com.

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1 comment

1 Post Divorce Co-Parenting { 04.01.12 at 6:00 pm }

[…] Healthy Baby Boomers Network posted an article on this subject recently called Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce. It details a lot of the common problems newly divorced parents encounter when they first get […]

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