If you and your spouse have separated and are planning to divorce, you could be in for a long and difficult journey. Furthermore, if you have children and you are sharing custody, you could be facing extra complications.
When a couple splits and they do not have children, it is fairly easy to go their separate ways. However, when there are children involved, the parents will be connected for years, if not always. The two of you will have to work together to ensure your children's needs are met.
Co-parenting can seem like an impossible challenge, especially if you do not get along quite as well as you once did. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to be a successful co-parent.
Even if you can barely stand to breathe the same oxygen as your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is important to still be respectful. Showing respect and a bit of appreciation can go a long way toward building a positive co-parenting relationship.
Maintaining a certain level of respect can also come in handy in the future. For example, if you have a last-minute schedule change and you need your ex's help picking up or dropping off the kids, they might be more willing to cooperate.
Keep communication open
Keeping an open line of communication might seem like an impossible task, especially if you and your spouse were barely on speaking terms when it became apparent that divorce was your only option. In a co-parenting situation, you do not need to open up about your feelings or other issues, but you do need to freely communicate about the kids. It might help if you keep all communication on a business type level. For instance, stick to conversations about scheduling, status reports and upcoming activities like after-school recreation or parent-teacher meetings.
Have an open door policy with your kids
Co-parenting is about your children and they probably have their own opinions and feelings about the new dynamic. Provide your children with an environment where they can express their feelings and concerns. Furthermore, be available to answer their questions. Your children might worry about everything from where they will live to how the tooth fairy will know in which house they are staying.
If you are planning to divorce, you might be facing some complicated custody issues. You can ease the difficulty for yourself and your children by making an effort to engage in successful and productive co-parenting.