Getting along with your child’s other parent can be a challenge after divorce. As you develop strategies to communicate and work together, however, your co-parenting relationship and your child will thrive.
Avoid these common co-parenting disputes that can derail your ability to keep the peace.
Different parenting styles
Whether you are the one who makes sure the kids eat at 6 p.m. every night or the one who has lax bedtime and junk food rules, these differences are relatively minor in the grand scheme of raising your children. You cannot control what goes on in the other parent’s house, so reserve your judgment unless your child’s health or safety is in jeopardy.
If you are facing a divorce and have strong feelings about education, religion, diet or other areas of your child’s upbringing, attempt to reach an agreement with your co-parent and document that agreement in your custody decree.
Last-minute schedule changes
A consistent schedule benefits both kids and parents. When a child expects time with mom or dad and does not see that parent, an emotional impact occurs. Be flexible with changes whenever possible and encourage communication in advance. Many co-parenting families have success with scheduling apps designed for visitation and shared custody. In fact, some courts even mandate this type of communication for co-parents.
Many parents struggle to give up control when their kids are with the other parent. Unfortunately, learning to let go during shared custody is part of the divorce process. Some parents find therapy useful to work through these feelings. Others enjoy spending time with friends, travel or hobbies during the other parent’s time.
While shared physical custody is often in the child’s best interest, ongoing conflict between parents can make it more difficult for kids to cope with divorce. Consider family counseling if you struggle to come to a consensus with your co-parent. You can file for temporary custody when concerned about the safety or welfare of your children at the other parent’s house.