The transition from a married couple to a divorced, co-parenting situation isn’t usually easy. You might find that your priorities and methods change with the divorce. This can lead to some challenges when you are working with your ex. It is important to remember that you might not always get along with him or her, but you should still be able to have a positive parenting relationship.
Maintaining a positive attitude isn’t always easy. You will have to make a concerted effort, especially when there are contentious matters on the horizon. Here are a few tips that might help you along the way:
Watch your words and actions
Your words and actions can have a big impact on how the parenting relationship goes. Be sure to respect the other adult, especially when the children are around. Don’t speak ill of the other parent in front of the kids. It is a good idea to try to point out the positive aspects of your ex to the children. You also need to extend the kind words and positive actions to others who are in your life. Don’t spread gossip or say things that might get others to think negatively of anyone who spends time with your children.
Follow the custody agreement
The parenting plan is the outline of what needs to happen. While it is fine to make small adjustments when necessary, avoid making any major changes unless they are absolutely necessary. When things do need to be changed permanently, modify the child custody agreement so there isn’t any misunderstanding.
Be compassionate and forgiving
Everyone is going to make mistakes at one time or another. When that person is your ex, be compassionate. The last thing that he or she needs is you rubbing the mistake in. Instead, find out what, if anything, you need to do to correct the issue and move forward. Be willing to forgive since this will help to keep your life less stressful.
Put the children first
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that the children have to be at the center of the co-parenting arrangement. By thinking about what is best for them in every decision, you can take a lot of the stress and negativity out of the situation. It is imperative that you take a step back when you find yourself thinking about how a solution will impact you or your ex. This gives you a chance to bring the focus back around to your children.
Be tolerant of your ex and try to understand his or her motivations. However, if your ex is not adhering to the terms of the co-parenting agreement, seek legal advice from an experienced family law attorney.